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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 7 September 2009
This book provides a good basic overview on how Magento Themes work and how to go about creating your first theme. It provides a clear, logical breakdown of how Magento works with Layout, Templates and Stylesheets, better than the designer guide on the Magento connect website.

The only problem is that, while it starts out at almost too basic a level (telling you exactly where to type things, which button to press etc.) it then suddenly jumps to rewriting complex .phtml and .xml files, assuming quite an advanced knowledge of PHP if you really want to do anything yourself - hopefully this gap will be addressed in the next update as Magento guides will always be trying to hit a moving target.

I would recommend this book if you are trying to get to grips with Magento for the first time and already have some grasp of PHP (as otherwise what you will be able to achieve will be rather limited).
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on 2 February 2011
I purchased this book to help me produce a custom theme for Magento hoping that it would help me develop one. Boy was I wrong, this book didn't help me one bit. I ended up trawling through the Magento forums on the homepage to find out what to do and in the end rather than build a custom theme from the ground up as I had hoped to do, I had to install the blank theme and hack it to pieces to get what I wanted!

Don't bother with this book, use the Magento forums and a blank theme and you will fare much better and save your self some cash too!!
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on 8 November 2010
Sorry to say I bought this book just as Varian released 1.4.0 which makes this book virtually useless. The template fallback hierarchy changed completely with the release of 1.0.4. Still some useful titbits, but definitely not worth the outlay. I am a professional designer by the way.
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