Review: WordPress for Dummies 5th Edition by Lisa Sabin-Wilson

WordPress for Dummies by Lisa Sabin-Wilson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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This book is best suited for WordPress users, but there are a few chapters for developers. Designers and developers are better served by WordPress Web Design for Dummies and WordPress All-In-One for Dummies. I’m a web designer who creates WordPress sites for small businesses, so I skimmed the basics and concentrated on the development sections. Unfortunately, the explanations and examples of theme development weren’t as clear as I’ve seen in other WordPress books.

The book deals with both and the self-hosted It covers configuration, publishing, media, plugins, and themes. My favorite chapters were 12 and 13, about theme development (template files, template tags, The Loop, widgetized areas, etc.). I also liked Bonus Chapter 1, Designing for WordPress as a CMS, which covers custom templates, custom post types, post formats, and basic on-site SEO. The book uses the Twenty Eleven theme for its examples.

The WordPress For Dummies page has bonus chapters about designing for WordPress as a CMS, and WordPress Network (Multisite), and free downloadable themes.

I had the privilege of meeting the author, Lisa Sabin-Wilson, at WordCamp Grand Rapids 2012, where we were both speakers.

Below are my notes.

Theme development

Use the post_class function in a template tag within the Loop to add post-related classes to the div tag, giving more control over CSS styling.


Miscellaneous plugins

Audio plugins

Premium plugin directories


Premium theme providers

Free themes

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