When my former blogging platform inexplicably disabled line-skipping between paragraphs, it was time to go. I moved to WordPress, so I greeted Jeff Siarto’s book with excitement, because WordPress is powerful but occasionally non-intuitive. He did not disappoint.
Head-First WordPress covers getting started with your blog and goes beyond the basics of adding entries, such as managing content and managing pages. Siarto also covers cool things such as customizing your blog with video and audio, and adding contributors. The book is ambitious, and early chapters assume you use a web server and a hosting service. However even if you are but a simple blogger, there are good tips and help getting started, such as the adoption of themes and widgets. I personally found some for the examples, such as adding textboxes, quite helpful, and have adopted them in my on blog, affinitymask.wordpress.com.
I liked the presentation style. Siarto offers a “multisensory learning experience”. This means teaching strategies such as creative redundancy, a conversational prose style, anecdotes, and humor, to teach through entertainment. Not easy with most subjects, but it succeeds here. Since I have little interest in learning HTML or PHP, the many pointers and notes were ideal. Ready-use CSS code is also included, a godsend to those with no interest in learning it just to blog.
Good for high-school and college web publishing classes, and for anyone wanting to learn independently. Oriented more towards ambitious web publishing efforts than garden-variety blogs. Avaiable through O’Reilly, at http://oreilly.com.