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.