Author: Bud E. Smith & Michael McCallister
Aimed at: New and existing users of WordPress
Pros: Highly readable with lots of discussion
Cons: Based on beta of WordPress 2.9
Reviewed by:Sue Gee
This very comprehensive treatment of WordPress has two authors - and in this instance the combination of two viewpoints work well,
In Chapter 1 we learn that one of the authors, Bud Smith started a Wordpress.com blog, Google Voice Daily. While this now seems to be defunct Michael McCallister's "Note from the Metaverse" about open source technology is still maintained.
The style can come across as rambling, especially in the first few pages which cover the history of WordPress and its various versions, but on the whole the fact this book approaches the subject in depth is something to be grateful for. It even points out that Blogger, the free blog publishing tool from Google, is a worthwhile alternative for simple personal blogs, also noting that it is easy to import from Blogger to WordPress.
In the very first chapter the issue of choosing a domain name is confronted - not something you need to do unless you move from the free WordPress.com to paying for and using the WordPress.org version and looking for an independent host. But, as the authors point out, if you want to preserve the continuity of the blog title when making such a move in the future you need to consider it from the outset.
The book is divided into four parts, the first three of which apply to both WordPress.com and WordPress.org blogs while the final one deals exclusively with the latter version. Part I,Getting Started With Your Blog, covers initial considerations, signing up and using themes and widgets to determine the look of the blog.Part II on Running Your Blog kicks off with a chapter devoted to the first post and then spends the next chapter on taking posts further with categories, tags and links. Chapter 6 then looks at using HTML and the Text Widget. Next comes a chapter "Adding Features to Your Blog" which covers users, i.e. those with administrative capabilities on your blog; static pages including a Contact page; Polls. Chapter 8 looks at visitor statistics, incoming links and clicks tackling the topic of increasing your traffic.Part III has just two chapters, one on adding graphics, the other on using audio and video.
Part IV is for readers who want to use WordPress on their own websites and Chapter 11 starts with a discussion of finding a suitable host and an explanation of PHP and MySQL and then goes through WordPress installation. Themes, plug-ins and style-sheets for themes are the topics of the next three chapters and finally there is a chapter on PHP Basics - again with a focus on themes and plug-ins.
The book rounds off with six appendices, including two with exaples of blogs, one on importing content from other sources and one on navigating the WordPress sites - it's all helpful which also sums up this whole book.