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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Book Review: Wordpress: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald; O’Reilly Media


Whether you’re a budding blogger or web development professional, WordPress is a brilliant tool for creating websites—if you know how to tap its impressive features. This jargon-free Missing Manual shows you how to use WordPress and its themes, plug-ins, and widgets to build just about any website you can imagine, from a classy blog to a basic e-commerce site.

The important stuff you need to know:

  • Create a blog. Get a free WordPress.com account, choose the right theme, and start publishing content.
  • Build a website. Produce a professional-looking business site by customizing a WordPress theme.
  • Add features. Choose from thousands of WordPress widgets and plug-ins to extend your site’s features.
  • Mix in multimedia. Include slideshows, video clips, webcasts, podcasts, and music players.
  • Involve your readers. Let readers leave comments, contribute to your site, and carry on a dialog.
  • Build an audience. Learn search-engine optimization, measure your reader’s favorite pages, and publicize your site.
  • Create a community. Use social media tools such as “Like” and sharing buttons, and provide RSS feeds of your posts.

My Review

I started on Blogger back in 2009. I soon realized that many of my blogger friends were suggesting that I switch to Wordpress. I tried but it was just SO different from any of the HTML/CSS add on widgets and such that I learned for Blogger.

I was stuck. I didn’t know what to do, which way to go, or how to get started! The wordpress online manual that “suggests” how to get started was just a bunch of mumbo jumbo that didn’t help, it was like reading an encyclopedia from beginning to end. I felt more numb and lost AFTER reading it then before I began.

The Wordpress: The Missing Manual helps break down all the hard to figure out “add-ons’ and “inserts” so that a beginner could understand HOW to work Wordpress properly without having to pull their hair out!

This book breaks down how to get started, how to make a post with Wordpress, THEN customizing your add ons and plug ins as well as working with your existing tools.

The best part of the book for me was the adding audio/visual elements. It was nice to see it explained in a way that I could see how the big picture from beginning to end works, so I wasn’t so in the dark about it.

It’s so much better than just trying to figure out what’s going on just from the online documents that give you. They were more frustrating for me than helpful. It was jibberish, especially to someone used to Blogger where you can tweak/edit your own HTML and change just about anything you want from your HTML/Edit Layout page!

The only thing that I can complain about is this book jumps around a bit. I would have rather seen how ONE site was built from the beginning to the end. This shows a number of different websites that have been built.. but for me to FULLY comprehend something I have to see from the very first to the end..

This is easily the best way to make the switch without all the hassle and problems of jumping right in without any help! I would definitely recommend this book to someone looking for help!

Buy IT: You can buy the Wordpress: The Missing Manual for $23.99

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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Jessica Renee


This post was written by:

Jess is the creator of Stylish Southern Mama + Southern Rambles. She is a freelance writer + designer, Social Media Marketer, and Journalist. She has 2 amazing kids, Aidan and Adisyn, and has been with their dad Adam for 12 years, and has 2 amazingly adorable dogs; Harley + Cheyanne! :)

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