Beginning WordPress 3 is quite the instructional tome by Stephanie Leary. Leary begins with a passionate argument for choosing WordPress, complete with nearly full page screen shots of some prime examples of WordPress in action. She then devotes the following three chapters to the standard “How to use WordPress” explanations, complete with screen shots of each step along the way. After these initial chapters (and of course a chapter on migrating to WordPress) Leary does something unique. Instead of ending the book with these basic ideas, or tossing in a reference or two to media uploading or content creation, Leary takes users up a step to actual tinkering with WordPress. Using actual examples, Leary guides users through the creation of themes, widgets, and plugins, allowing users to get elbow deep in code without risking getting lost. Leary then explains user roles, increasing security, and custom taxonomies before ending the book with an introduction to BuddyPress and multi-user capability of WordPress 3.0. Finally the book ends with a few quick reference guides to plugins and theme functions.
Admittedly, at first glance Beginning WordPress 3 looks daunting. At 400 pages, its length is pretty standard for a WordPress instructional book, but the sheer breath of what is covered within those pages is what is truly amazing. Leary says that she designed this book to “fill the gap” between beginner’s guides and developer’s guides and she succeeded at doing just that. Even though this book was published before the official release of WordPress 3, Leary manages to introduce WordPress, showcase the changes that version 3 brought to the table, and throw in a how to guide for theme and plugin development. Not too shabby in my opinion. While this could easily be a great book for a first introduction to WordPress, it could just as easily be a desk reference for an intermediate user who is trying to move up in the WordPress world.
One of the biggest strengths of this book is it’s design. Reading Beginning WordPress 3 is like reading a online tutorial. The sheer number of screen shots that Leary provides is unbelievable and does wonders for the confidence of a WordPress newbie trying to find their bearings in the WordPress ocean. Also, Leary’s decision to create the appendixes as a reference guide is such an improvement over the traditional method of listing recommendations mid-chapter. I highly recommend this book to any WordPress novices out there or really anyone who wants to dip their hands a little deeper into WordPress.
Ready to see what all the buzz is about? Get Beginning WordPress 3 now.