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WordPress: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals) Paperback – 12 Jul 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 612 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2 edition (12 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144934190X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449341909
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 17.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Matthew MacDonald is a science and technology writer with well over a dozen books to his name. Web novices can tiptoe out onto the Internet with him in Creating a Website: The Missing Manual. HTML fans can learn about the cutting edge of web design in HTML5: The Missing Manual. And human beings of all description can discover just how strange they really are in the quirky handbooks Your Brain: The Missing Manual and Your Body: The Missing Manual.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Shazzer on 29 Aug 2014
Format: Paperback
I've just finished reading WordPress: The Missing Manual by Mathew MacDonald, obtained via the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program, and it's everything I hoped it might be and more.

I've had a self-hosted WordPress site for almost 4 years now: it was easy to set up, and is easy to manage as a blogging platform, but while reviewing this book I've begun to realise that I'm only really only scratching the surface of its capabilities.

The book kicks off with a clear explanation of what WordPress is and how it works - a key strength being the separation of content from style (theme). It looks at the pros and cons of self-hosting versus using wordpress.com, and explains the difference between different types of WordPress accounts, and the capabilities of different user roles. An appendix covers the process of migrating content from wordpress.com to a self-hosted site if you change your mind down the line.

While the focus is primarily on its strength as a blogging platform, there's good in-depth discussion in later chapters of how to use it to present other content, such as business information, product catalogs, etc., and it's full of links to examples of WordPress-powered sites in the wild, plus sites where you can locate WordPress-related resources such as free and paid-for plugins, page rank checking.

It covers a wide range of topics: different ways to use a WordPress site, why blog, best practices in writing effective content, search engine optimisation (SEO), how to promote your site, how to customise your site with plugins and widgets and by hacking themes, templates and styles. For comercially-minded folks, there's discussion around how people monetize their blogs and how ecommerce can be integrated into the platform.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D B HUMPHRIES on 10 Sep 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I find books by this author thorough and more accurate than most.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr T G Broad on 26 Aug 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nice easy to follow.book (595 pages) shows you all your need about local hosting using wordpress. Worth the small amount it cost ten time over.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 18 reviews
51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Just what I was looking for 23 July 2014
By Book Lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this book about a week ago, and since then I've given myself a bit of a WordPress intensive. I decided to buy it because I'd tried to start with WordPress by using various online resources, and I quickly discovered that it was way beyond me. Just to give you some idea, here are some of my early missteps:

- I signed up for a wordpress.com account, then tried to install a theme (a friend had suggested one). I soon discovered that I couldn't, which left me completely confused. A bit of online research revealed that there's wordpress.com and wordpress.org and the two are quite different. A day wasted, and a frustrating waste of time.

- I then went to wordpress.org and discovered an 'easy 5 minute install'. Great, I thought, I'm in the right place. So I started to do it and soon discovered I was out of my depth. Download the zip file, open it, go in and change a line of code, upload various files to your web server using ftp... again, completely bamboozling for someone who was hoping for a 'drag and drop' website creator. I happened then to be on an online forum and saw mention of 'softaculous'. I then went into my web host's cPanel (somewhat nervously) and discovered that you can actually install WordPress with ONE CLICK. Another day wasted.

I share this because it will hopefully give you some sense of my level of experience. Not exactly an experienced developer, but also reasonably comfortable with searching online to find answers.

I also share it because once I decided to actually buy this book, I discovered that the first chapter was about the distinction between wordpress.com and .org, and the second chapter was about how the 'easy 5 minute install' is actually quite difficult, and it's much easier to install it through cPanel using a one-click installer like Softaculous.

In other words, what had taken me two frustrating days to discover, I could have learned in 10 minutes of reading.

Since then I've burned through the book and I am now feeling very confident with the basics of WordPress. I saw some comments on the previous edition saying it focused too much on wordpress.com, but I would have to disagree. If anything, I was oblivious to wordpress.com throughout, and in general he simply says "this is how it works on wordpress.com, but on self-hosted wordpress.org sites, here's how it works". Regardless of the actual specific weighting either way, I found it provided me with all the information I needed to know.

One comment I would have is that there was a plug-in mentioned that I tried to use, only to discover that it was no longer working for the latest version of WordPress (3.9.1 at time of writing). This was One Click Child Themes - so it would probably be worth having a site with the most up-to-date plug-ins. I tried using it and it didn't work, and it took a while to discover that it was only compatible up to WordPress 3.2.1.

Another thing I couldn't see mentioned were tools like the Firebug extension for Firefox, or Chrome's Developer Tools, which reveal the CSS for web pages. Very useful.

But overall this book was exactly what I was looking for, and my only regret was that I didn't buy it earlier. For $9.99 I've gone from a frustrated WordPress noob to a pretty confident WordPress user in under a week - although a fairly focused week - doing pretty much everything I need to do.

If you're looking into WordPress, I'd recommend it. One thing I would say is that WordPress is NOT a basic drag-and-drop system like a Squarespace or Virb. (I've built sites with Squarespace and it's much easier for the everyday person). It helps a lot if you have some familiarity with html or css in particular, which is something I hadn't expected. It also comes with its own security issues, and you do need some familiarity with ftp and your web host. So while it's achievable, I wouldn't call it lay-down easy. I ended up buying Web Hosting for Dummies just to get my head around some of that stuff, and in combination the two books have been exactly what I needed.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Great for newbies through intermediate 28 Aug 2014
By D. Preston - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent, up-to-date introduction to WordPress. Good for beginners who have little or no experience with website creation, as well as for those with some familiarity with HTML, CSS and PHP (the basic building blocks of WordPress).

Even at almost 600 pages, it can't cover everything, but MacDonald provides plenty of links to more info on the web (including the "missing CD" with links organized by chapter).

One area the book ignores is the idea of setting up a local development environment on your own computer, rather than on a live, publicly-viewable site. While it's fine not to tackle that in detail in a beginner-friendly book, some basic guidance for readers and some links would have been a good idea.

I've read the book from start to finish, and am combining it with an online video training course. In sum, a very well-written, well-organized learning tool, to take you from newbie up to at least an intermediate level.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This book is one of the best I've ever read 23 Oct 2014
By ecnyguy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Being a software/web developer for many years, I've read a lot of technical books. This book is one of the best I've ever read, and I highly recommend it. After reading several key chapters, I've learned enough to re-write my employer's web pages in Wordpress. Wordpress is very easy to learn and use. I was never able to come up with beautiful designs like the Wordpress.org templates.

Just a note about Wordpress and XP's IE 8 - that older browser doesn't work well with the templates I used. Since I work for a county government, I didn't want to inconvenience those constituents. I used the T2B (Theme to Browser) plugins on Wordpress.org to deliver the nicer Twenty Fourteen theme to the modern browsers (including IE 11) and the plain Twenty Twelve theme to the older IE versions. If you are a CSS expert, you might be able to put your own code into a Wordpress PHP program to make your chosen theme work with the older IE versions.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
it's easy to read too 4 Nov 2014
By winjama - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
They didn't lie - it really is the missing manual. I have learned so much and I'm not even one-third of the way through the book! Even if you skip a few pages here and there, there's so much information and so much you can learn. And, it's easy to read too. Clear explanations, diagrams, everything. This one is definitely worth the price. If you're doing WordPress, do yourself a favor and get the missing manual.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
very good introduction to Word Press if you are planning on ... 1 Oct 2014
By James J Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
very good introduction to Word Press if you are planning on setting up your own site or starting a business this is a great resource.
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