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Wordpress Complete 94

Posted by samzenpus
from the blog-this dept.
Ravi writes "In recent times, blogs have empowered numerous individuals and groups by allowing them a platform to air their thoughts. This has been made possible because of the development of numerous blogging tools. One which has gained mass appeal in the blogging community is Wordpress. What is exciting about this tool or blog engine is that even a lay person can easily master its use and get his or her blog up and running in no time."
Wordpress Complete
author Hasin Hayder
pages 290
publisher Packt Publishing
rating 8
reviewer Ravi
ISBN 1904811892
summary A very good book to learn to use Wordpress to ones advantage


Wordpress Complete authored by Hasin Hayder and published by Packt Publishing is a book ideal for any beginning blogger who intends to set up his/her own Wordpress blog. The book is divided into 10 distinct chapters with each chapter describing a particular feature of the Wordpress blog.

I found the book unique in that instead of jumping right into installing and configuring Wordpress, the author takes time to explain the concept of a blog and the different ways in which you can blog. All the blogs irrespective of the blogging engine being used share some common terminology. This is explained in the very first chapter. In the same chapter, the readers are given a bird's eye view of the different blogging engines — both the free ones and those which cost money. The readers are made aware of the pros and cons of each of them.

Installing Wordpress is easy. It is a two step install process. However when you intend to host a Wordpress blog on a remote host, a few factors come into play depending upon what is offered by your web hosting provider. There is more than one way of installing a Wordpress blog on a remote host. This is dealt with clearly in the second chapter.

The third chapter covers choosing and installing themes, the different types of themes and their file composition.

The fourth chapter titled "Blogging your heart out", embarks on an extensive trip explaining the concept of posts and different ways of adding posts in Wordpress such as posting via email. Apart from that, this chapter contains an exhaustive introduction to the rich text editing interface which is the default editor. One also gets to know more about the features common to all blogs such as trackbacks, pinging as well as some Wordpress specific features.

You might wonder why you should buy a Wordpress book when the bulk of the documentation is freely available online. You will find this book to be a very good asset for beginner Wordpress bloggers because the author introduces a wealth of information which will require a lot of digging online to find. For example, the author explains how to put together an image gallery in Wordpress which I was not aware of before I read the book.

Chapter 6 deals with the all important topic of Feeds and Podcasts. There are four different feed formats and Wordpress supports all of them. Feeds are an easy way for the visitors of a site to keep track of the most recent changes in the content of a website.

While the first 6 chapters are targeted at Wordpress users, the remaining 4 chapters are more useful for Wordpress developers. On that note, developing themes form the basis of the 7th chapter. Here the author demonstrates how to build a theme by starting from scratch. Wordpress is essentially an amalgamation of PHP code, CSS and standards compliant HTML and this chapter has a fair sprinkling of code snippets with explanation. After going through the chapter, I was able to get a very good idea of the different files and their content which form the heart of Wordpress.

The next chapter titled "Community Blogging" provides a brief outline of a parallel project of Wordpress which is the Multi-user Wordpress and goes by the name Wordpress MU.

Chapter 9 titled "Developing plug-ins and widgets" is a very interesting chapter with the author explaining the process of creating widgets which are small bits of code incorporating third party functionality.

There is also an exclusive chapter which acts as an administrative reference where a number of problems that Wordpress administrators might face and their possible solutions are listed.

The book takes a reader from the installation to the configuration of every aspect of Wordpress to eventually give some troubleshooting tips. There is no dearth of relevant screenshots. The language used is clear and to the point. The author also provides Web references in many places. In short, I found this book to be an ideal resource for bloggers who wish to host their blog on Wordpress.

Ravi Kumar likes to share his thoughts on all things related to GNU/Linux, Open Source and Free Software on his blog linuxhelp.blogspot.com.


You can purchase Wordpress Complete from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.
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Wordpress Complete

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  • Well (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I'm waiting for the bloggerati to blog throughout the blogosphere for this latest develblogment in blogging. Is there a wikipedia blog article about this yet? Blog.
    • by CCFreak2K (930973)
      Fry: Hey, I'm starting to get the hang of this game. The blerns are loaded, the count's three blerns and two anti-blerns and the infield blern rule is in effect, right?
      Leela: Except for the word 'blern' that was complete gibberish.
  • No offense... (Score:5, Informative)

    by mdm-adph (1030332) <mdmadphNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @02:04PM (#18874073) Homepage
    ...but the way that Wordpress mashes together PHP and HTML is horrendous. Every time I have to help someone out with their Wordpress installation because they tried to change a subtle detail in their template and ended up breaking the whole thing, I'm wishing I could find and strangle its designers. Why they didn't make it a tag-replacement system like Movable Type or Textpattern is beyond me.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Wordpress may have problems in design and whatnot, but unlike Blogger [blogger.com], Wordpress works under Ubuntu Dapper and Firefox.

      By `works', I mean it doesn't cause my browser to crawl to a halt, and the CPU fan to speed up. It's not the speed of my computer (3.06Ghz P4), and besides the site works fine in the Mozilla suite browser. There's something about Firefox that makes it extremely slow and unstable on certain websites. I found out that Blogger is one but another is The Weather Network [theweathernetwork.com], the most popular weathe
      • by mdm-adph (1030332)
        Hmm -- you wouldn't happen to run NoScript, would you?
        • by AlHunt (982887)
          I have Ubuntu, FF and NoScript. I hit all the links the GP mentioned and they were fine for me. I know what (s?)he's talking about that some sites render for crap, bog down the browser and kick the fans on, but those particular sites don't. I never thought to blame php ...

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by mdm-adph (1030332)
            Naw, PHP wouldn't be the culprit -- it's server side.. The only thing on a site that would really bog down a computer would be poor or excessive JavaScript.

            Ever been to Digg.com? I browse with a 3.2ghz Pentium D, and that site is horribly slow.
    • Re:No offense... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by msimm (580077) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @02:18PM (#18874317) Homepage
      I haven't used either Movable Type or Textpattern. But after using Mambo/Joomla/PHPbb/PHPNuke and a few other CMS type apps I think when you get used to Wordpress's template system it's really pretty remarkable. It's probably simply a matter of preference, I like being able to take real HTML and make that part of my header or footer. I find it much easier and straight forward then other solutions I've seen, then if I want to dig down into the loop its all right there (and well documented to boot).

      I imagine most templating systems would be difficult for people unfamiliar with PHP.
      • by mdm-adph (1030332)

        I haven't used either Movable Type or Textpattern. But after using Mambo/Joomla/PHPbb/PHPNuke and a few other CMS type apps I think when you get used to Wordpress's template system it's really pretty remarkable. It's probably simply a matter of preference, I like being able to take real HTML and make that part of my header or footer. I find it much easier and straight forward then other solutions I've seen, then if I want to dig down into the loop its all right there (and well documented to boot).

        Those same benefits you named are present in both Movable Type and Textpattern, and there's absolutely no need for the user to ever have to deal with a server-side programming language.

        I imagine most templating systems would be difficult for people unfamiliar with PHP.

        Sadly enough, that describes most users of WordPress that I've had to deal with.

        • Textpattern is a royal pain to develop your templates on, though, as the only way to do it is to cut-and-paste them into a text form. Last I looked (earlier this year) there was still no way to have them live in a file while you do a tight tweak-reload cycle.

          And TXP is not really a package you can use by just throwing some CSS on the default templates, either.

          (I want to love TXP, really - it's got a lot of things it does right, and its back end is gorgeous - but it's just a huge pain to build a template for
          • by mdm-adph (1030332)

            (I want to love TXP, really - it's got a lot of things it does right, and its back end is gorgeous - but it's just a huge pain to build a template for if you're used to running a virtual domain and doing an edit-in-Textmate/reload-in-Safari cycle.)

            They must've changed it since then, because this is exactly how I code in it. ;)

            And anywho, just in case anyone was wondering, I'm no Textpattern zealot or anything (for one thing, its lack of an exporter for its own entries befuddles me endlessly, especially considering it can import from such raw sources as a WordPress DB).

            • Really? Last I checked there was a plugin hack that would export the templates to a bunch of flat files, or back - but it still required you to go tickle a page in the admin interface. It looks like the main package hasn't been updated since then, either. What plugins are you using to do this feat?

              maybe I can seriously consider using txp for the back-end of the next version of my own site, instead of my personal fork of Singapore and including LJ in one page.
      • by owlnation (858981)
        I agree, I found Wordpress very easy to install, and it's easy to change templates and settings.

        I also use their free online blogs too, and they're the best there is in my opinion (doesn't run Adsense of course - but I see that as an advantage, cos Adsense is responsible for more blackhat SEO crap than anything else.). I was a bit puzzled when Blogger came out of Beta, because it feels less stable and has less features than Wordpress - Blogger seems more like a beta than anything else Google has out the
      • by solios (53048)
        Moveable Type doesn't need/use PHP at all, unless you're one of those types who actually Knows PHP, in which case you can combine it with MT's internal tags and templates to produce some fairly useful functionality.

        The only php bits I use are includes (which lets my entry lists update without rebuilding the entire entry database, and also makes it possible to change the look and feel of my whole danged site by changing only a couple of files), and a count function for page totals.

        MT rocks. None of the othe
    • When I used wordpress (a year and a half ago) I found the same problem. I was trying to get a consistent design across all my website (which included static pages, a wiki, and a wordpress installation). Hopefully they've improved upon the theming engine since, when I used wordpress there were few themes available. My major issue with such CMS is that all the sites look the same, it numbs the mind and you can't tell where you are.
      • I've you haven't used Wordpress since the release of 2.0 Then you're remembering a completely different application. From what I've seen the only similarities between 1.x and 2.x are a vague familiarity in admin controls. Since 2.0 the themes are their own separate entities as are plugins.

        I started using WP around v1.1 it was ok... and once it was up and running and I spent hours integrating the style into the rest of my page (without breaking anything) I really wasn't up to trying to move to a different
    • by neoform (551705)
      That would make the system significantly slower.. mind you wordpress isn't exactly fast as lightning as it is.
    • ...but the way that Wordpress mashes together PHP and HTML is horrendous. Every time I have to help someone out with their Wordpress installation because they tried to change a subtle detail in their template and ended up breaking the whole thing, I'm wishing I could find and strangle its designers.

      I remember seeing them using a slogan like "code is poetry". Maybe this is what they meant.

      • by mdm-adph (1030332)

        I remember seeing them using a slogan like "code is poetry". Maybe this is what they meant.
        If by that they meant "modern, angst-ridden badly-formed high-school poetry", then sure.
    • phpBB (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Jotii (932365)
      Then you should see phpBB. They don't even have their plugins separated from the core code, which means that once you apply a fix, it's practically impossible to update. I was actually relieved when I first edited a WordPress theme and found that it was so much better than phpBB.
      • by mdm-adph (1030332)
        Jesus, I know... sadly enough, the actual PHP making up phpBB is pretty good (as you can tell, I've had a chance to look through most of it while trying to apply and maintain the aforementioned plugins. *sigh*)
  • While it's on the topic, can anybody recommend any "slimmed-down" blog software? I wouldn't mind a tool that lets me post quickly and easily, but without all the frigging cruft like trackbacks, pingbacks, Flickr plugin, and goat shaver. Or at least some blog software that gives you way more fine-grained control. Wordpress is nice, but not everybody who blogs necessarily wants to be hooked in like a deer tick to the rest of the internet. Also, not having to deal with metric tons worth of php would be nic
  • by User 956 (568564) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @02:05PM (#18874115) Homepage
    Wordpress Complete

    That's great news! This should free up a lot of developers to work on other projects.
    • by protomala (551662)
      I tought: "where they still on beta?".
      Stating "book review" on the title would just help out to figure what the post means!

  • What is [disheartening] about this tool or blog engine is that even a lay person can easily master its use and get his or her blog up and running in no time.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mandelbr0t (1015855)
      That's a pretty dim view you have. Do you just think blogging is stupid, or that being a qualified geek is a requirement for such?

      • The first thing an author learns is how little she has to say. For any writer, amateur or professional, the proverbial guidance is *less is more*. Blogging is the systematic violation of this truth of human communication.

        I applaud the distribution efficiencies and the rise of an amateur press, but I sigh for the wasted electrons and the deterioration of the signal-to-noise ratio of our cultural life.

        • The first thing an author learns is how little she has to say.

          Hey, no offence, but authors can be male you know :)

          In english we use the pronoun "he" when discussing a person of unspecified gender, thank-you-very-much. "She" is used for the discussion of inanimate things - ships, countries, motor vehicles, etc. No need to be too over the top with political correctness.

          Sorry, pet peeve :)


          --

          he1 /hi; unstressed i/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[hee; unstressed ee] Pronunciation Key -


          • is another woman's pleasure, apparently. I find the indifferent substitution of he or she for usage number two to be perfectly satisfactory. My pet peeve is the scholiast's insistence that grammar and usage are not perfectly conventional systems susceptible of development. It's not political correctness makes me do; my desire is shakeup the hidebound English grammar.

            I feel it is a stylistic matter; a piece with my habit of mashups with semi-colon or my resistance to certain aspects of preposition and
  • It still doesn't mean that people will cease to infuriate me with their improper use of "it's" and "its." The next big step is correcting that error. It's like their freakin' INTERCHANGEABLE now. Sheesh.
    • by Osty (16825)

      It's like their freakin' INTERCHANGEABLE now.

      Please tell me you did that on purpose ...

      (Did what? Using "their" instead of "they're", of course.)

    • What specifically are you talking about? The only use of its/it's in the original blurb ("What is exciting about this tool or blog engine is that even a lay person can easily master its use and get his or her blog up and running in no time.") is quite correct.

      Were you talking about something else, or are you as clueless as your use of "their" suggests?
      • No, I'm talking about how most people screw it up and no word processor will ever repair it. And, yes, I f'ed up on the "their." I usually don't. An honest-to-goodness case of correctly-defined irony.
    • by spidkit (992102)
      The correct application of the contraction "it's" is to replace "it is".

      Now if only someone would get "loose" and "lose" straight:
      "You won't lose your cool, if you stay nice and loose about what somebody says."
  • by jcgf (688310)
    Sometimes I think that I am the only one left on earth that doesn't have a blog. I often think about starting one but then I realized that all I do in a day is go to work then come home, smoke up, and read shit on the internet so I don't think many people would want to read about that. On the other hand, most blogs I've seen aren't much more exciting so...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by rueger (210566)
      "...all I do in a day is go to work then come home, smoke up, and read shit on the internet so I don't think many people would want to read about that..."

      You, Sir, have missed the point. Blogs aren't about writing new and interesting ideas, they're about linking to and excerpting from other blogs, thereby getting a higher ranking at Technorati. [technorati.com]

      That, or posting pictures of your cat.
      • by owlnation (858981)

        You, Sir, have missed the point. Blogs aren't about writing new and interesting ideas, they're about linking to and excerpting from other blogs, thereby getting a higher ranking at Technorati.

        Ah, if only that was not sooo true. Of course this isn't the fault of (most) Bloggers, nor of Technorati - fundamentally this is a Google flavored problem. In the days before Google it was meta-tag spamming. Now that we have Web 2.0 (whatever that may be) we have link spam, and tag spam.

        For my own blog I try to a

  • by rueger (210566) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @02:21PM (#18874353) Homepage
    I wonder about the point of a book that discusses something that changes more or less monthly or weekly, with things coming and going on regular basis. How long will it be current or useful?

    And I wonder how well the book does in discussing plugins, of which there are many for Wordpress, and the many themes that expand on Wordpress.

    As much as I dislike trolling user forums for answers and ideas, I think that for Wordpress it's probably still the best option.

    This review didn't really give me an idea about the utility of this book, it just listed the table of contents.
    • In addition, Wordpress has excellent online documentation, as well as the responsive forums you mention. Who needs a book?

      I have gone from being a complete novice (I had never touched PHP before either) to writing themes and plugins, and I have never had the slightest difficulty finding what I want online.

      My plugins are not brilliant, but they are useful and a fair number of people use them - especially Slug Trimmer, which produces short automatically generated urls instead of ones-that-go-on-and-on-like-th
  • by jshriverWVU (810740) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @02:25PM (#18874403)
    Since I've moved out of state I setup a blog to keep my family/friends up to date on life and as a personal diary. This is a wonderful piece of software. I didnt want to go the route of using a service like Livejournal because I wanted complete control of the software and run it on my own server. With wordpress I had a nice blog up and running in about 30minutes. Another nice feature is that it's protocol is open, so as a Linux user I just apt-get install drivel, and voila posting to my blog via a nice local program without having to login to the site itself. A+ :)
  • ...promote insightful, comprehensible thoughts it would be perfect. There are so many tools out there for communication it is just a shame to see that the quality of the ideas communicated seems to be decreasing. How many times have we noticed with cell phones, and now blogs, that people are talking and communicating just to hear their own voice and don't contribute anything by their communication.

    That aside, I am glad that it is finally complete. Yes, there are many worthless blogs posted but it make
    • by jcgf (688310)

      There are so many tools out there for communication it is just a shame to see that the quality of the ideas communicated seems to be decreasing. How many times have we noticed with cell phones, and now blogs, that people are talking and communicating just to hear their own voice and don't contribute anything by their communication.

      I found it was that way before cell phones also. I'd imagine that the quality of the average printed work decreased after the printing press too. It's bound to happen, because once you remove the cost of doing something, people won't put as much thought into doing it.

    • How many times have we noticed with cell phones, and now blogs, that people are talking and communicating just to hear their own voice and don't contribute anything by their communication.


      Case in point.
    • by operagost (62405)
      Most blogs read like something Robert Smith [wikipedia.org] would write on a bathroom stall.
  • Is this needed? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by madsheep (984404) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @02:43PM (#18874673) Homepage
    This isn't intended to be rude or necessarily dissuade people from buying this book, but doesn't this quote say it all:

    What is exciting about this tool or blog engine is that even a lay person can easily master its use and get his or her blog up and running in no time.
    So why exactly would I need to buy a book again? Not to mention this amazing little URL: http://wordpress.org/support/ [wordpress.org]

    And oh yes.. I am a Wordpress user. :)
  • "What is exciting about this tool or blog engine is that even a lay person can easily master its use and get his or her blog up and running in no time"

    Right.. so I guess this is why it needed a whole book about it? You can't claim both now, can you.

    WordPress is one of those things that are easy to copy/paste and bang, you have a blog. But you better not want to customize or extend it, since like most open source PHP projects, it has no signs that it had any architecture to begin with. Just random individial
    • by mdm-adph (1030332)

      But you better not want to customize or extend it, since like most open source PHP projects, it has no signs that it had any architecture to begin with. Just random individials slapped pieces of PHP and HTML randomly in the codebase until it seemed to do what they want.
      This could, of course, be extended to describe most PHP projects, sadly enough.
    • "What is exciting about this tool or blog engine is that even a lay person can easily master its use and get his or her blog up and running in no time"

      Right.. so I guess this is why it needed a whole book about it? You can't claim both now, can you.

      And why not?

      Because something is easy to get going with doesn't mean that gaining mastery of it isn't helped by reading good instructional material.

      Haven't read this book, but can see its value (if well written). Even though WP has extensive online documen

  • If even a lay person can easily master its use and get his or her blog up and running in no time then why we need this book for?
  • ...eventually turned it into a business. Since I had to upgrade three blogs simultaneously all the time, while maintaining tons of enhancements, I started using Subversion for it. Not too long after that, I started to sell a bundle of plugins and themes for WordPress which was the same exact copy of what I used for my sites. It turned into a business: http://turbochargedcms.com/ [turbochargedcms.com] powers several high-profile blogs today.

    I guess I have shoulders of giants to thank :-)
  • by DiamondGeezer (872237) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @06:36AM (#18882637) Homepage
    Hopefully they mention this in the book, but just in case:

    Bad behavior [homelandstupidity.us]: kills 99% of all spam on contact
    Spam Karma [unknowngenius.com]: kills the other 1%
  • Its great to Know that SlashDot Rank " Wordpress Complete" as 8/10....my heartiest congratulation for the author Hasin Hayder. wishes, samiha esha

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