Pedagogical Introduction to WordPress

WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms in use today. It is, however, much more than just a blogging package: it is a comprehensive online publishing tool that can be used for all sorts of content providing websites. Many of the third-party online blogging solutions are based on WordPress. One of the virtues of WordPress is its ease of use and installation. If you are running your own blog on your own server then you will certainly appreciate being able to set up and run your blog within a very short time.

For my first personal blog I had relied on Movable Type, but have for various reasons decided to give WordPress a try. So far I have been very satisfied with the results: my new blogging website was extremely easy to setup. I was able to set it up without any use of detailed instruction manuals, and was able to figure out many of its features and settings easily on my own. However, I have had a fair amount of online development experience, so setting up a new site is not a major hurdle for me. For people who are not that familiar with the ins and outs of site management and content publication software, a book like “WordPress 24-Hour Trainer” would be a very valuable resource.

Like many books out there with similar titles that imply relative quickness and ease of learning, this one exaggerates these points. The 24 Hour from the title refers to the fact that most of the chapters in this book can be mastered in an hour or less. You could certainly go through the entire book over a weekend if you spend most of your free time on reading it and going through the examples, but that would probably be overkill. You will be better off by going through the book at a somewhat leisurely pace, in which case you could get through most of the material in a two to three weeks.

The book is organized around various tasks and features of WordPress. The material progresses from the installation of WordPress on your website, to some of the more mundane maintenance tasks. The chapters include “Basic Admin Settings”, “Working with the Text Editor”, “Laying Out Text”, “Adding a New Page”, “Helping Others Connect to Your Site”, “Customizing Design and Layout”, “Optimizing Your Site as a Whole”, and many others. The chapters are very instructive and easy to navigate. They feature multiple examples, step-by-step instructions and screenshots. They are primarily aimed at those who are new to WordPress, but even experienced uses will find many new pieces of information.

The book comes with a DVD featuring videos that cover the material in most of the chapters. The video tutorials are a useful supplement to the text, but they are not meant to be a comprehensive substitute for the book. Learning by watching examples always works the best for me (and most other people), so this feature of the book is very helpful. Two problems that I have with the videos are: 1) they are made in Flash and cannot be easily transferred to your computer, and 2) They are made with a fairly low resolution. This is particularly bothersome when the screen is covered in small font text, and the low resolution makes this almost illegible.

This book was written with respect to the latest version of WordPress (3.2). It is a very pedagogical book with plenty of useful information. Recommend it to all bloggers who are considering using WordPress for their own hosted blog.


Bojan Tunguz

Bojan Tunguz was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which he and his family fled during the civil war for the neighboring Croatia. Over the past two decades he has studied, lived and worked in the United States. He is a theoretical physicist with degrees from Stanford and University of Illinois. Tunguz has taught physics at several prominent liberal arts colleges and has been writing about physics, science and technology for more than a decade. He also has a wide spectrum of interests, and reads and writes about current events, society, culture, religion and politics. Over the years he has reviewed many of the books that he has read, and posted his reviews on various online outlets. In 2011 he had become a top 10 reviewer on, where he continues to be very active. Aside from reading and writing, Tunguz enjoys traveling, digital photography, hiking, and fitness. He resides with his wife in Indiana. You can follow my review updates on the following pages as well: Facebook: Twitter: Google+:

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