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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars13
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 29 August 2014
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.

Where there are multiple ways of achieving the same thing, a number of the options are covered, generally with some indication of why one solution might suit your situation better than another.

There are some nifty practical tips and tricks that make a big difference too, such as clicking a little button I'd never really noticed before to maximise your editing space when composing posts online, or setting up third party editors to edit offline and publish automatically when you're done. I discovered I'd been using categories where I should've been using tags, so used the tip on filtering for posts with a particular category/tag and applying bulk actions to rectify that!

All in all, I loved this book. It has something for users of all types and levels.
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on 3 June 2015
Quite simply, this is a top choice if you're a wordpress newbie looking to cover all the bases (experienced WP users and web wizards need not apply).

True to the 'manual' badge, this is a reference book rather than a quick start guide, and it does the job really well. The WP Codex may overlap with the core of the book's content but the author's authoritative hand and personal touch produce a more thorough and digestible resource than any official spiel. You'll be left well on top of things having used up a small pack of post-it notes for all the titbits.

With the exception of only a few chapters, the author addresses both wordpress.com users and self-hosters throughout. If you want to create a free blog using the wordpress.com service then you'll find everything you need here. If you're looking to self-host then you'll find plenty more than you might expect from a beginner's guide.

So why not 5 stars? Well, to accommodate all the detail the author adopts a conversational writing style which some readers may find a little 'wordy'. Those especially daunted by the vast set of features and settings may actually welcome this and it makes for pleasant reading as it gives you time to dream up your perfect blog/site. But if you just want the meat then you might have to be a little patient at times. Don't let this nitpicking deter you though, it's a great book!
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on 20 January 2015
Perfect for the Wordpress novice and plenty of excellent, well explained practical information for those who want to tweak their site. Great value for money too. Highly recommended.
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on 16 March 2015
The book is OK as Reference book. The index pages are very good. But as so many similar books, it’s too complex. In my opinion “Word Press, the missing manual” contains too many words and explanations, mingled with lots unnecessary comments. I early lost the thread.
The Author is undoubtedly very clever and knowledgeable, and maybe I bought the wrong book. All I wanted was a simple explanation of getting started with Word Press. (I’m going from Dreamweaver to Word Press.)
In the beginning, the Books for Dummies used to be very slim and instructive. Easy to understand – easy to follow. But today the dummies-book has swollen containing lots of unnecessary details that is very confusing. And I have the same feeling with “word press – the missing manual.
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on 2 December 2015
I bought this book and WordPress For Dummies at the same time. This book consistently gave me the answers I needed, while the Dummies book occasionally did not. In a short while, this book became the first one I would turn to each time. If I was only buying one of the two, it would be this one. Having said that, I eventually found it easier to get information more specific to my needs by searching online rather than looking in the index and thumbing through pages.
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on 26 August 2014
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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on 16 March 2015
The author certainly knows his subject but the graphics let him down. The text is slightly on the small side and the graphics (most of them screen shots) also too small and in indistinct monochrome rather than colour. These two flaws (which are not apparent on the website) rendered this product unusable in my case so I returned it. Manuals, like textbooks and installation instructions should be bold and clear. My 'Creating A Free Website Using Weebly.com' (Intro-Tek creative guides - Jill.E.Poyerd) uses more pages that the Wordpress Manual so obviously costs a bit more per page but money well spent. Matthew MacDonald take note !
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on 3 February 2015
The only WordPress book woth buying, at least all the cheap ones did not help me much.
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on 27 August 2015
A useful guide to Wordpress, enabling the inexperienced to produce and maintain good websites. Clearly and helpfully written.
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on 10 September 2014
I find books by this author thorough and more accurate than most.
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