Head First WordPress by Jeff Siarto

Head First by Jeff Siarto is one of a superb series of Head First books that adopt a visual approach to teach­ing. This par­tic­u­lar volume is very well done and offers a deeply basic intro­duc­tion to set­ting cup, con­fig­ur­ing and man­aging a Word­Press blog. It takes a new user through the basics and then provides a hands-on prac­tical exper­i­ence with all the appro­pri­ate skills to meet basic to inter­me­di­ate user demands. It is well writ­ten and com­pre­hens­ively delivered and if you are either a visual learner or a per­son who does not want to sit down with a stock manual than this is the approach for you. It com­bines exer­cises so you can pur­sue a self-directed and paced course while at the same time find­ing enough back­ground inform­a­tion when deman­ded to make you a skilled blog administrator.

Not a cri­ti­cism, but merely a guid­ance, this is a largely basic text as it advert­ises. Ten next top­ics are iden­ti­fied and given one-page treat­ments at the end of the volume and for me those where I would really have liked to explore fur­ther — but then that is the point. This volume gets you in and doing and thereby gain famili­ar­ity. It gets you and you blog up and run­ning and runs through  some com­mon aven­ues of cus­tom­iz­a­tion tak­ing you into the Word­Press cycle and work­ing with themes and plu­gins to meet your needs. It doesn’t deman famili­ar­ity with PHP, although there you go you’ll be work­ing away modi­fy­ing themes (in the approved fash­ion) to suit a vari­ety of chal­lenges. I was pleased to see it ven­ture into secur­ity issues as this is some­thing that inev­it­able emerges and the chapter on ‘Lock­ing it down’ gives some great advice and iden­ti­fies good prac­tice and avail­able plug-ins to accom­plish this.

I really like the approach taken and it works for me. Siarto has a great style and this book will not dis­ap­point those look­ing to gain an imme­di­ate and up to inter­me­di­ate famili­ar­ity with how and what you can do with Word­Press. Fun, fast, and deep where it needs to be, this is a recom­men­ded read.

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