WordPress Books

Last week I asked several people on Twitter if they could recommend any books on WordPress. We’re working to more effectively implement a WP Install at Emory for faculty use and for low-key digital scholarship projects. (Bigger projects will most likely be running on Omeka.) A few others asked that I make the list available once I’d collected it, so I’m taking this opportunity to do just that. These books are listed in the order the recommendations came in.

  1. Ethan Watrall recommends Head First WordPress by Jeff Siarto.
  2. Dimitrios Diamantaras recommends Smashing WordPress by Thord Daniel Hedengren.
  3. Bill Wolff recommends WordPress For Dummies, 3rd Edition by Lisa Sabin-Wilson.
  4. Boone Gorges recommends Professional WordPress by Hal Stern, David Damstra, and Brad Williams.

In an ideal world, I would be able to purchase all of these texts, and I’m trying to ascertain what the library budget will countenance. If it comes down to my ranking them in the order of preference, however, I will probably rank them as follows: 3, 1, 4, 2.  But that ranking is simply based on what I’ve been able to learn about each text as I’ve read through different reviews of their contents and their approaches.

It’s worth mentioning that a number of people whose Word Press-fu I admire chimed in to say that they didn’t use books. Jeremy Boggs and Amanda French both indicated that they haven’t really used books in the past. Instead, they turn to online resources when they have questions they can’t crack. Amanda specifically referred to the WordPress Codex as a helpful place to go for information. Moaçir de Sá Pereira recommended New2WP as a place that he’s used on on more than one occasion. And Boone reminded me that his own blog, Teleologistic has descriptions of interesting WP hacks.

I think that when I asked the question, I was hoping that there would be some consensus as to which source would be the best for learning more than I do at the moment. Absent that, I look forward to drawing on all the different options as I get my hands dirtier. I do think that a book will be what I’m after at first just so I can avoid switching back and forth between browser tabs.

If we’ve missed some of the texts that you think are critical on WordPress, please let me know. (Here’s where you can see that I’ve been writing for ProfHacker for quite some time: I can’t end a blog post without an an appeal to the imagined reader.)