Few months ago Packt Publishing published interesting book on WordPress 2.7 written by April Hodge Silver and Hasin Hayder. This is a guide for people starting with either WordPress.com or self hosted blogs. All chapters are easy to follow, with many screenshots that will help guide you.
First chapter contains explanation of basic blog and WordPress terminology, followed by the chapter covering installation of WordPress manually and setting WordPress.com hosted account. Third chapter covers the process of creating posts, tags and category management, advanced posts options, comments and moderation, working with spam and introduction to Akismet plugin.
Pages, links, media library and plugins are covered in the chapter 4, and themes are in the next chapter. Another chapter covers RSS feeds and podcasting. This chapter introduces several interesting plugins that will help you enhance podcasting experience. Another chapter is dedicated to user management and explanations of user roles. Final chapter contains useful information for blog administrators that can help them solve some common problems.
There are three more chapters that are not really meant for beginners and they are covering creating themes and plugins, and using WordPress as standard CMS platform.
Chapter 3, covering the basics of blogging with WordPress is really excellent and you will find that information here is more useful than in the WordPress Codex documentation. Feeds and podcasting chapter 7 covers basics of feeds, use of Feedburner, adding and displaying feed in the blog and everything you need to start with podcasting blog.
Book introduces several interesting plugins that can help you with podcast, user management and other tasks.
There are few things I really didn’t like, and that’s theme and plugins development. Both this topics are not really needed for WordPress beginners, and both require knowledge of PHP (and even MySQL) development. Both plugins and themes are much more complex topics, and here you will find only bits and pieces that will not going to help you if you need something like that. Both theme and plugin development are complex issues and each one deserves a separate book. This book would be much better without these chapters.
Unfortunately for some of the content this book is released too late. WordPress 2.8 is now main release and it’s very similar to WP 2.7, but some differences can be misleading. Such books should be written parallel with development and released as soon as the software is released.
It’s good to see WordPress book for beginners that will introduce WordPress blogging in an easy and understanding way with many screenshots to help along. Experienced users can skip this one, because there is not much they can find here that they already didn’t know. But, I really recommend this book to beginners who are just starting to know WordPress.