Author: Stephanie Leary
Publisher: Apress, 2010
Aimed at: Developers wanting to start using WordPress
Pros: Good introduction to web development using WordPress
Cons: Poor production values
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot
This is a book that is some where between the beginner and advanced end of the spectrum. It isn't so much about using WordPress but more about getting inside and getting your hands dirty actually customising it. So if by "Beginning Wordpress" you interpret it as an end user sort of beginner then the reader is going to be left behind fairly quickly. To get very much from this book at all you have to know how to program in PHP - which is what WordPress is written in. This is more a book for web developers who have never encountered WordPress.
The book does start off with some nice gentle chapters - about Wordpress, installing, the dashboard, working with content and importing content. By Chapter 6 we are well inside WordPress and writing PHP code to make things happen the way that you want them to. Topics covered include themes, top widgets, user management, plugins, performance, custom content types and the closing chapter deals with setting up the network.
The overall style of the book is relatively easy to read. However, it tends to jump from one topic to another and there is very little attempt to give an overview so that you can slot ideas into place. On the whole I found the book quite difficult going but in many cases without actually being able to pinpoint why, apart from the fact that its layout is unattractive. The code samples tend to be just presented as a block with little explanation - the author tends to use code examples as an explanation of the ideas so be prepared to read and study the code.
Overall this is a good introduction to web development using WordPress 3. It most certainly isn't for the complete beginner who simply wants to set up a more or less default blog and generate content. It also isn't for the expert who wants to use WordPress to create very sophisticated websites - and this is the sense that it is aimed at the beginner.
Not a bad book and it will do the job until something better comes along.