Head First WordPress (Book Review)

A Brain-Friendly Guide to Creating Your Own Custom WordPress Blog

The review of Head First WordPress starts off very well visually as it is complied like a students scrap-book which is a welcome change for what could have been a boring and mind numbing experience. The book features lots of fun hand written notes pointing out key areas and tips, post it notes, great screenshots and thought bubbles for clarification on any technical terms used on that page. While WordPress is famous for its 5 minute installs it’s great that chapter one steps you through the entire process and highlights what you are doing and explains what might change after the install so don’t panic.

Once you are through setting up WordPress the steps to create your first post are explained with a focus around image optimisation for better user experience and also some great exercises on how to get your head around using and editing images to be a suitable size for your blog posts. The best part I found about the book was that it steps you through what WordPress file does what for your blog and even how to start to understand what is required to change your template or even customise your blog theme.

A pleasing point about the book was the focus on explaining how to keep your blog organised better with plenty of detail around user roles and how to classify categories and tags to control how your content is presented to visitors and search engines.  The focus on embedding video is mostly focused around Vimeo but visually it does offer the best experience for visitors to your site as your video content is not covered with Google Adsense banners but it would have been great to have some more detail around plug-ins.

In a welcome focus on the power of WordPress is the renewed focus which is mirrored in the book around both locking down WordPress from hackers but also ensuring you keep everything up to date with WordPress’s unique one click upgrade feature. The book works well as it steps users up through the levels of complexity with the final chapters focusing on some very high level tips, strategies and guides on how to make your WordPress blog well awesome.

My advice is that anyone using WordPress should know more about how it works but also how to better customise it check out Head First WordPress from O’Reilly.

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