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WordPress 4.x Complete
April 29, 2015
Week: 1 All time: 392
Lopo Lencastre de Almeida
linkedin.com/in...This book will, as it says in the preface, "take you through the complete process of building a fully functional WordPress site from scratch.
This book continues the series of WordPress Complete books published by Packt Publishing over the last years and follows the excellent tradition of publishing good and insightful books for IT professionals.
Considering that WordPress market share is almost a quarter of all Internet Web sites, according to W3Techs, every web developer should consider it as a potential tool in his belt.
Today WordPress can no longer be considered just a blog platform. It is by its own right, a full CMS framework with a wide range of uses.
This book will guide you from understanding the WordPress jargon to building a non-blog Web site, although it keeps it simple for the non-WordPress savvy.
The only, and understandable, issue with the book is that the theme chapter example doesn't use Costumizer. That is now mandatory for all themes hosted at WordPress.org, starting last April for new themes and October for all the rest.
Understanding PHP is, of course, required, but the reader does not need to be a ninja expert to follow up the book examples.
That said, I am now going to present an overview on book contents, chapter by chapter.
Chapter 1 is just about WordPress, what it is and what it is not. What you should expect from the CMS framework, all the features, advantages and what is the community and where to found more resources.
In chapter 2 you will learn how to create a free blog on WordPress.com, and from the Web developer point of view is not the option you will choose for sure.
Nevertheless you will know how to do it. You will also learn how to install WordPress manually on your Web host and what it requires. I think this is almost all the times better than choosing those 1-click installs, as you will also get an overview of what you can do with hosted WordPress.com (free and enterprise) and the downloadable WordPress.org, and pros and cons of each options.
Still in this chapter you will learn how to perform basic setup tasks in the WordPress admin panel and how to publish your first basic contents.
Chapter 3 is all about creating the most common type of content you will see with WordPress all around the Web: blog content. You will also learn what are the WP admin conventions to understand all the block you will see in the content list and content insert panels.
You will also learn how to add media to your content, being that images, videos or other media content. Full instructions on how to use comments and how to avoid spammers are also discussed in this chapter.
You also learn here how to work with the WYSIWYG and HTML source editors. The book has tips all over the chapters and some even with external links to more information, articles and tutorials on the subject at hand.
WordPress also allows you to post content by email. You can learn how to do it in this chapter.
In chapter 4, the best way to describe what you are going to learn is with a citation from the book: "will explore and control all the other types of content that WordPress already has. You'll be able to create static pages that aren't a part of your ongoing blog, add various types of media to your posts, and create appealing image galleries to display photos and other images (working with the new media library).
You will also learn how to manage navigation menus and work with the basic layout customization features to further enhance the capabilities of your entire website."
Even though blogs are not all about posts and plain text, so you will learn how to create and manage static pages, menus, your media library and even how to change your blog appearance by using advanced techniques with theme costumizer.
The Media Manager in WordPress evolved over the years and today it is a powerful tool that allows you to manage images, PDF, sound files and more with real ease.
By the end of this chapter you will learn how to import and export your content. This is very useful if you are moving from an old non-WordPress blog or if you want to save your contents. Besides the included importers you can also check WordPress.org website for other importer plugins.
At chapter 5 you will learn all about expanding the features available on your site and making your content more attractive without the need to touch any source code using already existing plugins and widgets.
Chapter 6 is the counterpart of chapter 5, this time related to themes. You learn how to find themes, some non-design related basics and how to install and change themes.
Chapters 7 and 9 are very important for front and backend developers. They are a very good starting point for theming and creating plugins and widgets.
In Chapter 7 you learn all from getting your HTML design into a theme, how to create templates, creating child themes and even how to share your theme with the community. The same principles apply to plugin and widget development in chapter 9.
The contents of Chapter 8 are all about sharing your content, directly using your feed with RSS or by integrating with social networks, and its before you learn how to code a plugin mainly because you may need to mess around with your theme and you should learn first how to make one. In this chapter the author also inserted some information on podcasting, hence it is a kind of feed too.
You will learn how to create a podcast - the author even suggests some audio tools - and how to manage it with the Media Manager. You can also do it using one of the many and very good podcasting plugins available for free at WordPress.org.
At chapter 10 you will learn how to use roles in WordPress. Besides the "basic" role and user management already included in the core software you have today more than 350 plugins just to deal with users, so options are endless and you get some tips on that too in this book.
Chapter 11 and 12 are very important. As emphasized at the beginning of this review I noted that WordPress is not just a blog platform but rather a CMS framework and platform. In this two chapters you will learn how to develop a non-blog website.
In chapter 11 you learn the basic concepts on how to build this kind of more advanced websites. In chapter 12 you'll learn how to create community websites, like membership or video/photo blogs and even social networks with BuddyPress. You will also learn how to create custom contents, being those post types, custom taxonomies, or other. At the end you will get an starter on the process of customizing the admin display slightly.
Last chapter is a kind of cheat sheet that you can refer to for quick answers to common administrative issues. You will get information to help you with the WordPress administrative tasks, as well the essentials and a few topics are explained in greater detail here and some important links that you can visit for further reading.
If you are willing to know more about what is WordPress then you think you know, you should read this book: "WordPress 4.x Complete". It will definitly help you to understand the complete process of building a fully functional WordPress site from scratch.
As WordPress is such a massive winner among the known commercial and free software CMS platforms, with a huge share of 60%, you should really consider to have it as a potential tool in your belt. And this book is, for sure, a must have and a very good start point for all WordPress newcomers.
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