Book review: WordPress Complete by <i>Hasin Hayder</i>

Book review: WordPress Complete by Hasin Hayder


WordPress Complete is a guide to “set up, customize, and market your blog using WordPress”. A beginner’s guide, but much more. Interestingly, its author studied in Bangladesh, and it is published by a firm that straddles Birmingham and Mumbai!

The free bloggers guideThe free bloggers guide

The contents

Fairly thick at 289 pages, the book is interesting, helpful and written in a simple style.

But, what’s this book about? Firstly, it offers a simple and powerful way to start blogging for someone who is not an IT expert. In its ten chapters, this book gets as comprehensive as it could, about a topic like WordPress—the free software blogging engine released under the GNU general public license, which allows for any non-techie to create a blog and use it effectively with minimum hassles. (You can even create a free blog for yourself, space and all thrown in, at wordpress.com)

Hayder introduces you to the world of blogging, and different blog engines available on the net. Then, there’s an introduction to different types of blogs, core parts of blogs, why WordPress stands out, and how to install and use WordPress.

Next, the reader is introduced to WordPress’s “thousands of themes”, modifying themes, administering articles and comments, and issues related to converting a WordPress blog into a full-fledged website.

You also run into delivering feeds and podcasts, developing themes for WordPress, how to turn your blog into a community blogging site, an introduction to plug-ins and widgets (to extend WordPress’s engine), and the administrative tasks of your blog.

That’s quite a lot!

Relevance to free software

WordPress is a free software tool. As you would know, every techie from the free software world recommends you shift over from, say, blogger.com to something like WordPress. That it is relevant to the free software world is, therefore, beyond doubt. (Of course, as just mentioned, some significant part of this book deals with generic blogging... but then free software backers need to learn about general background too, don’t they?

Who’s this book for

This book is being pushed as something useful for newbies. That’s not entirely untrue. But as a non-techie and blogger myself (including on WordPress) for quite some time, I think its impact goes far beyond the newbie. So are the publishers aiming to cast their net wider by talking about the “newbie”? If so, they might be missing out on more serious users who would also probably find utility in this book.

If your cup of tea is WordPress (or even if you’re considering it or even only thinking about the possibilities of blogging), then take a serious look at this title. In any case, I believe WordPress is a good choice, and this book is a good introduction to it.

Pros

The book does well for itself and comes across as well-produced and comprehensive, is an interesting read, and is logically structured. Besides, it will take you from basics to pretty complicated stuff using well focused and simple language. It also gives you plenty of background on blogging which you are sure to find useful and interesting.

Cons

One regret is that, even when it goes to the wider issue of blogging, it focuses more on the technology alone, without giving even a hint about further online resources on the social aspects of blogging. For instance, I find the flock.com browser a great tool to update my blog. Flock.com works well with WordPress (and with Blogger.com and probably others too). Yet, such options don’t seem to get decent coverage here. A page of useful web links might have helped.

I, personally, find the price a little high, so a more reader-friendly price tag might have been good too.

Title WordPress Complete: A comprehensive, step-by-step guide on how to set up, customize, and market your blog using Wordpress
Author Hasin Hayder
Publisher Packt Publishing
Price US$39.99
ISBN 1904811892
Year 2006
Pages 289
CD included No
FS Oriented 9/10
Over all score 7/10

In short

Category: 
License: 

Author information

Frederick Noronha's picture

Biography

Frederick Noronha is a freelance journalist based in Goa, India. He regularly writes articles on free software. He is a co-founder of Bytesforall.