It’s easy to set up and launch a basic WordPress blog. But once you do, it’s also very easy to just keep blogging and ignore the many other options and features that WordPress offers. (I’m guilty of that, which is why I’m happy to see this book.)
If you want to know more about how to use WordPress or how to improve the appearance of an existing blog, WordPress: The Missing Manual definitely should be in your hands. Matthew MacDonald’s new book is well-written, heavily illustrated, and packed with good how-to steps and tips.
Many small businesses and numerous large companies also use WordPress to provide some or all of their web presence. MacDonald’s 545-page how-guide has essential information for these users, too.
The book is organized into five parts:
- Part One: Starting Out with WordPress – Covers key decisions you should make before starting to use WordPress.
- Part Two: Building a WordPress Blog – The blogging-on-WordPress basics are presented here. But: “Even if you’re planning something more exotic than JAWB (Just Another WordPress Blog, don’t skip this section,” the author urges. “The key skills you’ll learn here also underpin custom sites, like the kind you’ll learn to build in Part Four of the book.”
- Part Three: Supercharging Your Blog – Explains how to use plug-ins to add new features to your self-hosted blog site. Shows “how to put video, music, and photo galleries on any WordPress site. Covers “how to collaborate with a whole group of authors…and how to attract boatloads of web visitors….”
- Part Four: From Blog to Website – Shows how to “take your WordPress skills beyond the blog and learn to craft a custom website” with WordPress at its heart.
- Part Five: Appendices – Appendix A “explains how to take a website you created on a free WordPress.com hosting service and move it to another web host to get more features.” Appendix B, meanwhile, gathers up the “useful web links” scattered throughout the book and puts them into one place organized by chapter. A link also is provided where this collection of links can be downloaded.
How popular is WordPress? It is, according to MacDonald, “ridiculously popular…stunningly popular…responsible for roughly one-sixth of the world’s websites….And one out of every five new sites runs on WordPress….”
If you choose to go the WordPress route, be sure you have WordPress: The Missing Manual with you.
— Si Dunn