Getting the Most Out of This Book

The chapters in this book are organized into eight parts. Each part is a selection of chapters that all relate to each other in some way. You probably will not want, or need, to read the book from cover to cover, though I would be flattered if you did. Instead, you will find that different parts of the book address different levels and experiences with WordPress and you should feel free to flip back and forth to find the answers you need at different times.

For example, Part I, "Getting Started with WordPress," contains the initial introductory stuff that describes installing WordPress and basic steps to getting a WordPress blog off the ground, as well as background information to help you understand the philosophies that have guided the development of the software.

Part II, "Working with Plugins," gets more technical by examining plugins and describing the plugin application programming interfaces (APIs) in WordPress. This is the part that developers will likely use often to understand how to write new plugins for WordPress.

In Part III, "Working with Themes and Template Tags," I talk about the aspects of WordPress that have to do with themes and templates. If you have an Adobe Photoshop layout and need to hack it up into a WordPress theme, this is the series of chapters you'll want to get into. It is most suited for designers who need to understand how the WordPress theme system works.

Part IV, "Creating Content," is going to be the go-to series of chapters for the newbie who just wants to use WordPress to write or create content. This is not a super-technical part, and it doesn't assume that the reader is changing his theme. It does, however, describe the concepts and principles behind using the WordPress Admin and creating content.

No blogger wants to be caught with a hacked site because she did not keep up to date with upgrades and security fixes. To that end, Part V, "Keeping Up with the Joneses: Maintenance and Upgrades," is all about maintaining your WordPress blog, and provides suggestions, routines, and concepts behind the maintenance and upgrade routine. It also covers caching, an essential topic for anyone who owns a blog that receives, or will receive, a large amount of traffic.

In Part VI, "Alternate Uses for WordPress," I stretch the bounds of what WordPress can do. Hopefully by reading this part, you will be inspired to find alternate uses for WordPress and will see that WordPress is not just for blogging. I look forward to seeing how WordPress is used in new and creative ways.

In Part VII, "Looking at the WordPress Ecosystem," I bring everything full circle by talking about the surrounding community and ecosystem around WordPress. It seems that there is a new venture or product released around WordPress regularly. Many of these are associated with WordPress.com and Automattic, the owner of WordPress.com and patron of the WordPress project.

Part VIII, "Appendixes," includes all of the appendixes that are important corollary pieces to this book. In some cases, such as with Appendix A and Appendix B, they are reference guides that will be popular among developers who purchase this book. Other appendixes include articles that I have written for the WordPress Bible that describe an aspect or use of WordPress that is not necessarily relevant as "chapter material" but add to an understanding of the greater WordPress community. My favorite appendix? Appendix F, "WordPress in Government." Did you know that the United States intelligence community has more than 7,000 WordPress blogs across 14 different intelligence agencies? Exactly... who knew? And they aren't the only ones using WordPress in federal, state, and local governments around the world.

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