The Complete Idiot's Guide to WordPressThe Complete Idiot’s Guide to WordPress by Susan Gunelius

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An easily understood, very basic WordPress guide for beginning users. It’s focused on blogging rather than building traditional websites. The first half covers, and the rest covers The Attracting an Audience section has valuable chapters on SEO, feeds, and social media. The Blogging for Big Bucks section has tips for monetization, including advertising, affiliate programs, and paid reviews.

This book is a good starting point, but for WordPress beginners I’d recommend WordPress for Dummies (read my review) over this book because the Dummies book better explains WordPress. However, the Idiot’s Guide book is still worth reading for its blogging guidance.

Advanced WordPress users, designers, and developers would be better served by one of the WordPress For Dummies books: WordPress for Dummies, WordPress All-in-One For Dummies, or WordPress Web Design for Dummies.


  • Ping-O-Matic automatically notifies the major ping services, so it’s probably not worth adding new ones to the Update Services (Settings > Writing). If you do, make sure they’re not ones that Ping-O-Matic already pings.
  • For an intro to SEO, read SEOmoz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO.
  • Create favicons with the Dynamic Drive FavIcon Generator.
  • The Theme Test Drive WordPress plugin lets you to test any theme as administrator, while visitors see the default one.
  • Recommended web hosts for WordPress: Bluehost, HostGator, DreamHost, Just Host

View all my reviews


  1. Bob Diforio says

    Would you have rated it 5 stars if the title was The Complete Idiot’s Guide to
    Word Press for Beginners?

    It would appear that way.

    • Chad Warner says

      Bob, I still think WordPress for Dummies is a better beginner book because it’s better at introducing and explaining WordPress. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to
      WordPress does talk about WordPress, but in less detail; it spends a lot more time on general blogging. Since I gave WordPress for Dummies 4 stars, I thought this one deserved 3.

      Thanks for your comment. I’ve updated the post to clarify my thoughts.

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