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7 Best WordPress Books to Get Your Brain On

Let’s start with the basic assumption that it’s difficult to come up with a <u+2116>1 or even Top 5 of the best WordPress books. First, there’re so many options out there and many of them are quality ones, written by people who put the words to practice every day. Second, and perhaps even more important, is personal relevance. The impression from a book depends significantly on what exactly one is looking for, both in terms of content and its formation.

Books can be divided by their target audiences since they are purchased and searched for a specific purpose. Conventionally, they can be divided into two groups: information for those who lead websites — bloggers, business teams — for those who make content, promote, etc. and for those who build sites - web developers and freelancers. Guess what? The useful information for them looks somewhat different.

Of course, there are publications that represent benefits to a wide audience. Still, writing plugins won’t fascinate the content creators and basic information will be useless to novice developers. Therefore, know what you need and choose accordingly.

Below you’ll find seven of the most versatile, if there’s any at all, books on WordPress. Read on and pick a lucky one to start your web development journey!

Best WordPress Books to Get Your Brain On

1. WordPress For Dummies, Sabin-Wilson L.

WordPress For Dummies

This is probably one of the most famous books that is suited best for the newcomers. The name says for itself: you don’t need to be a pro or even have any expertise in the field of programming. As long as you’re eager to practice what you read, you’ll be reaping the benefits from this WordPress book.

You’ll get to know:

  • installing and configuring WordPress
  • navigation in the control console (dashboard)
  • adding media files to the site
  • how and where to search and install free themes
  • use of templates and tags
  • installation and management of plugins
  • mysterious fabulous “10” of WordPress
  • migration, site transfer to hosting, and much more ...

Thus, for all of those who need to familiarize themselves with the possibilities of WordPress, or even get acquainted with CMS for the first time, this book will provide the necessary starting point and be a comprehensive push in the right direction.

Price – $5.99

Customer Reviews – 193
Rating – 3.7 out of 5 stars

2. WordPress in Easy Steps, Darryl Bartlett

WordPress in easy steps

This is another great book for those who have never dealt with the creation of a WordPress site. Written in simple language, it’s a perfect source of knowledge for those who want to create a modern and functional website for business, blogging, or an online store. The process of installing WordPress is described in detail. It also describes how to purchase hosting on third-party sites, which is very important for beginners. Interesting fact: the author provides extra notes in the margins of the book; these are his pieces of advice and general recommendations based on first-hand experience. Such an approach contributes to a mentoring factor as well. Most of the information presented in the book is up-to-date and relevant even nowadays. Since the book was published in 2015, the screenshots may differ a bit from the platform interface of 2019 but the basics are fully covered.

The book contains all the main topics and useful tips for beginners:

  • overview of WordPress and, site planning
  • control console items adding users
  • appearance, setting the menu, theme, widget
  • how to create pages and create different content
  • how to search and install plugins
  • creating a store with WooCommerce
  • site tuning, search engine optimization
  • connect Google analytics, maps, fonts, and more

Price – $9.99

Customer Reviews – 5
Rating – 4.1 out of 5 stars

3. WordPress Design and Development, Brad Williams, David Damstra, Hal Stern-Professional

Professional WordPress Development

This book is for novice WordPress users who want to dive into it and it’s one of the most voluminous books on WordPress, with more than 500 pages. However, you can always refer only to those chapters that are of particular interest and skip the others to browse through them later. The secret of the book’s popularity hides partially in the overwhelming amount of data in it.

The thing is that WordPress is one of the most popular free CMS systems in the world. Still, a vast majority of developers use only the basic functions, without delving into the nuances of its potential for professional web development. Such an attitude doesn’t leave much space for creativity. At the same time, using WordPress to the maximum, you can create projects of any level of complexity and design on its basis and the book hands you over the means and insights to pull it off.

The book describes in detail:

  • the CMS system, its main functional elements, the internal work of the code and data structure
  • developing your own design themes, using plug-ins, and writing extensions
  • setting up and optimizing large resources that work on this system
  • a large number of examples and ready-made code that can be downloaded on the page of the publication and used on the projects

As you can see, the book addresses a wide range of developers: from those who seek to customize the WordPress theme, to more experienced developers who are familiar with the development of plugins and want to dig deeper.

Price – $9.99

Customer Reviews – 153
Rating – 4.3 out of 5 stars

4. WordPress Plugin Development, Beginner’s Guide, Vladimir Prelovac

WordPress Plugin Development Beginner's Guide

This is one of the top five books for the “WordPress books plugin development” query and it isn’t hard to grasp why it owns the place. First of all, it’s written in a “practice makes perfect” tone, which means that there won’t be a ton of inapplicable theory and beating the air, only the useful tools and instructions on how to develop a plugin. Furthermore, it adds to the fact that the author himself is a creator of Pretty Theme Files, Show Me Options, and WP Digg This plugins, to name a few of the dozens. It’s hard to compete or argue with this amount of experience. Rather, it makes a lot of sense to take into account his thorough explanations of each stage of the plugin development process.

Point number two to make is the important accent on the scripts security, which is quite rare to observe but is of crucial significance for any professional. A little bonus: with the book you get the code that is recommended to use in the process of learning.

Basically, the book is considered to be a deconstruction analysis of 6 plugins.

  • live blogroll
  • wp-wall
  • snazzy-archives
  • insights
  • post-types
  • wp-digg-this

Overall, it may be the best example of books on how to learn the art of creating a beautifully functioning plugin. Just be aware that it requires a primary understanding of web design for you to fully comprehend the information.

Price – $17.32

Customer Reviews – 11
Rating – 3.9 out of 5 stars

5. WordPress 3 Plugin Development Essentials, Brian Bondari, Everett Griffiths

WordPress 3 Plugin Development Essentialsebook

This is another WordPress book for those who already have some superficial knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, and PHP. Like the previous one, it’s based on going through the existing plugins and looking into what makes them good or outstanding. Each chapter explores a specific feature and the best ways to use it.

The examples include:

  • creating a social bookmarking plugin (diggThis)
  • live search using ajax
  • content widget creation
  • creating a plugin with a custom post type
  • common questions when developing plugins: localization, use of SVN, publishing a plugin, etc.

The unnecessary or yet irrelevant chapters (for example, about using SVN, publishing a plugin, or others) can be skipped or skimmed for better efficiency. I’d like to introduce such mode of study: scroll through the chapter, open the code in the editor, and familiarize yourself with it while glancing at the book for a detailed description of its work. It’s where practice meets theory and something interesting gets created.

Price – $23.99

Customer Reviews – 11
Rating – 3.8 out of 5 stars

6. WordPress Plugin Development Cookbook, Yannick Lefebvre

WordPress Plugin Development Cookbook

This is one of the many WordPress development books that is definitely worth your attention if you want to go deeper into the plugin creating process. The book delves into different stages of the whole endeavor (hence the name) and explores the subtle nuances of each one, starting from preparing a local development environment all the way through to distributing your plugin on a WordPress site.

It describes meticulously:

  • how to install WordPress on a local server and preparation for working with SVN
  • the basics of creating plug-ins with examples
  • familiarity with hooks and functions
  • creating shortcode with parameters
  • writing a plugin using OOP
  • user settings and pages in the admin panel
  • working with multi-level menus and rights
  • processing and storage of configuration data
  • the power of custom post types
  • creating your own tables in the database
  • using the Widget API, and much more

To sum up, in this book you will find every essential ingredient for a perfect recipe of writing your own plugins in WordPress, delivered right from an expert and straight to your doorstep.

Price – $19.79

Customer Reviews – 6
Rating – 4.8 out of 5 stars

7. Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, Thord Daniel Hedengren

Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog

This was one of the most popular WordPress books back in the early days. Though it may seem a bit outdated, it’s still a great book to read if you’re in need of a clear “how-to” guidance on getting the hands-on WordPress experience. One of the interesting details is that the chapters are color-coded, which means you perceive the information not in a whole confusing mass but rather in smaller chunks that are easy to digest. Furthermore, there’s a code to practice with and a lot of tips for the advanced user. All of the above-named facts make it much more than your standard books on how to learn while still providing a solid foundation.

You’ll get educated on:

  • the anatomy of a WordPress installation
  • WordPress themes and numerous tags categories
  • the heart of WordPress – loop
  • WordPress template essentials, and their functioning
  • using WordPress as a CMS
  • and, finally, social web integrating

Price – from $12.98

Customer Reviews – 15
Rating – 4.1 out of 5 stars

WordPress Templates

Comparing the Best WordPress Books Options

Here is an overview for you to compare variants.

Name Price Highlighted features
WordPress For Dummies, Sabin-Wilson L. $5.99
  • writing style is clear but without over-simplifying
  • data is conveyed very accessible
WordPress in Easy Steps, Darryl Bartlett $9.99
  • Quick to go through
  • Tips from an author
  • Screenshots provided
WordPress Design and Development, Brad Williams, David Damstra, Hal Stern-Professional $9.99
  • a fairly comprehensive book
  • Some experience is required
  • The book provides a number of example codes
WordPress Plugin Development, Beginner’s Guide, Vladimir Prelovac $17.32
  • applicable techniques are presented
  • guides through the whole process of developing a plugin, from start to finish
WordPress 3 Plugin Development Essentials, Brian Bondari, Everett Griffiths $23.99
  • practical exercises allow for polishing WordPress skills
  • step-by-step style of writing
WordPress Plugin Development Cookbook, Yannick Lefebvre $19.79
  • gradual increase in complexity
  • convincing real-world instances
  • “reference book” approach
Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, Thord Daniel Hedengren from $12.98
  • color-coding
  • very communicative English (despite being non-native)
  • not for beginners book

Read Also

How to Launch WordPress Site | Easy WP Guide

Ways to Create a WordPress eCommerce Site | Knowledge Base Guide

The 20 Best Amazon Affiliate WordPress Themes

100 Best WordPress Plugins Used by the 15 Top WordPress Blogs

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An experienced marketing specialist, traveler, and lifestyle blogger. In the rapidly changing and constantly growing digital world, it's important to keep an eye on innovations in the field. Follow me on Quora and Facebook for the latest updates.

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