Professional WordPress is a book by Hal Stern, David Damstra, and Brad Williams that covers every aspect of WordPress. The book begins with a brief history of WordPress and a guide to your first post, from your first installation to inserting media into your post. The book than gives you an overview of the WordPress core and the codes that make millions of websites like ours run on a daily basis. The authors delve into the dynamics of the content loop and managing your database and seamlessly transition into theme and plugin development. The book then switches from development to refining a WordPress website by keeping it secure, crafting it reflect your personal and corporate image, and employing it in a real world setting.
Finally, this book addresses something that many books neglect, and that’s giving back to the WordPress community at large. At the end of Professional WordPress, after all of the codes, all of the advice and how-to’s, the authors give readers a step by step guide to joining the WordPress community, from the Trac system to the sister projects of WordPress (MU, bbPress, etc). This is essential to perpetuating the growth and development of WordPress. These authors are not just educating the populace, they are providing a community service by grooming another generation of community contributors – and for that we need to applaud them.
Professional WordPress is by far one of the most detailed and user friendly guidebooks thus far. The authors do an excellent job of bringing the book full circle, from your first post on WordPress to continuing the legacy by contributing to the community. This book stands out because it removes the normal “fluff” of a guidebook. Each chapter is thoughtfully laid out to introduce the topic at hand in an easy to understand fashion using real-world examples from WordPress core and frequently used themes and plugins. The only confusing thing about this book is the location of the WordPress migration chapter. It seems like that chapter could easily become an appendix instead of an entire chapter, but it is such a minor flaw in an overall spectacular book. Stern, Damstra, and Williams give us an excellent look into the beauty and functionality of WordPress, and I highly recommend this to any WordPress newbie.
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