Review by Kim Murphey
Head First WordPress by Jeff Siarto is a self-help book for people who want to use WordPress for blogging or hosting a site. I have the paperback and ebook version (the ebook version was given to me by O’Reilly Media through their blogger review program). Since I use WordPress, I was hoping that this book would help me learn more “tricks” that I didn’t already know or it would be something I could recommend for beginners wanting to start a blog.
I read through the first chapter on getting started, but I didn’t set up a new account. It seemed straightforward enough. About half way through the second chapter, the book delves into explanations of PHP, HTML, CSS and how to use it to change the look of your site. For the true beginner, this is more information than they really need to know and most would be lost, or give up on the whole idea of doing it themselves and think they need to hire an expert. The coding information is thrown in here and there throughout the rest of the book. The chapter on Video and Plugins was informative and something that a beginner would find very helpful. The chapter on Podcasting was interesting, too; something I wasn’t familiar with creating at all until reading it here. From the chapter on Securing WordPress, I thought this was the most useful piece of advice.
“Before you consider any other ways to secure your WordPress site, the first thing you need to dois make sure that your WordPress installation and plug-ins are all current. A large percentage ofattacks on WordPress sites happen to blogs that are using out-of-date software. When WordPress finds security flaws and bugs, they are patched with updates regularly—don’t ignore the pleas toupdate your software. The same logic applies to any plug-ins you have installed.”
This book was informative and there were many aspects of it that would be useful for a beginner using WordPress. Though I think a true beginner would need further help from a WordPress expert, at least they would have a working site and the general idea of how to do everything.