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Posted March 12, 2012
If you go much deeper into WordPress than simply adding pages, posts, and maybe some images, you will quickly come across areas where you will need a bit more instruction. As you start to customize menus, tailor-fit widgets, and adjust what posts appear in different locations, the standard out-of-the box help screens just don’t cut it anymore. This is where a book like Ric Shreve’s WordPress 3 Cookbook comes into play.
The WordPress 3 Cookbook, published by Packt Publishing in December of 2012, is not the kind of book you read cover to cover. As the title implies, it contains a series of recipes or tasks that you will go to in order to get something specific accomplished. Those tasks may be as simple as changing some text in the header or footer, or as complex as customizing the internal WordPress look to display posts of only a certain type or combining that with some custom CSS to display your posts in a two column layout.
You will want to at least read through the table of contents and introduction to familiarize yourself with what WP recipes are include, but you probably don’t want to try to read the book straight through. If you do that, as I did for this review, you will find yourself increasingly annoyed at the repetition of basic instructions like using the text editor to open the CSS file. While they should be expected in a cookbook of recipes, since you never know where someone will dive in, they get mind numbing if read in a linear fashion. Even then they might have been done better. Every food preparation recipe I read does not include instructions on how to boil water or preheat an oven. You go over that once and make reference back to it. Unfortunately in this Shreve’s book the instructions are repeated over and over again with each task.
That does not detract from the overall value of the book though. The recipes are arranged in increasing degree of complexity, and even though I have been working with WordPress for years, I picked up some good hints as the book went along. It is one of those references that you might not necessarily need at the moment, but you will want it on your shelf. When the time comes that you want a specific recipe or tutorial that is in the book, you will need it at hand. Quickly. And that is where I plan to keep this one – close at hand for reference.
Also not that, as is the case with all Packt Publishing books, the WordPress 3 Cookbook is available in both paper and electronic formats, so it is quite convenient to have with you in whatever form you prefer.
Posted February 2, 2012
The book is mainly meant for beginner to intermediate WordPress developers as at first it steps you through the most basic installation and customization tasks. Then it explores those areas beside core functionalities, often involving the installation of one or more plugins. This is somehow a bit disappointing because plugins are used even for those little customizations which involve little coding, without warning the reader that the eccessive number of plugins is a known performance problem in WordPress. Beside that I’ve found really interesting, instead, are those chapters about website marketing and SEO, covering features commonly requested by clients but still not provided by the WordPress’s core. My overall rating of this cookbook is good. It's interesting and well written.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.