Book Review: “How To Be A Rockstar WordPress Designer”

31 January 2009, in Reviews | 7 comments »

In recent years, WordPress has become an increasingly popular blogging platform and full-blown CMS for company websites – a sure credit to its immense versatility. Although not impossible to master, some of us still haven’t had the opportunity to put some time aside to delve into it. This inspired me to write a short review for Rockable Press’s “Rockstar WordPress Designer”. Here’s my quick capsule review:

About the book

The first thing I should mention about the book is that although it’s targeted at absolute WordPress novices, it assumes you already have the prerequisite of a good understanding of HTML, CSS and some basic PHP syntax’s. If you are just starting out with HTML or CSS I don’t think you’ll find this book all that useful, however I had no problems with the book without any basic PHP syntax knowledge.

From the outset, it’s well written and easy to understand: it gives you a good idea, step-by-step, of how to use WordPress not just as a blogging platform, and how to adapt it to the needs of almost any type of website – it makes everything look easy as pie!

One of the best things about this book are the source files that come with it, which will help you get through the book’s tutorials: you’ll get Photoshop files, ready-to-use WordPress themes, images – basically everything you need.

Pros

So why should you fork out your money to buy the book? For a start:

  • It’s well written and structured; the language is accessible and easy to understand.
  • It gives you a sense that you can actually work with WordPress and that it’s not just a big untameable monster.
  • It provides lots of links to other useful resources for further reading.
  • The source files are very handy and you can use them in your own projects.
  • It’s not that expensive, considering the value it can bring to your work.

Cons

What I didn’t really like about it (the bad points):

  • Chapter 2 in particular, goes into too many details about blog design – which wasn’t my primary interest when reading this book.
  • This book was definitely written with ‘everybody else’ in mind, and if you’ve already been working with WordPress for some time, it probably won’t be of much use to you. In fact, WordPress veterans would probably be better off just browsing the web when specific issues arise.

Conclusion

For someone who wants to give WordPress a try it’s definitely a good book to start with. Reading the Codex is also important, but this is a nice way to give the first steps.

Also, the source files are a very good thing to have and it’s what makes the book much more valuable in the long run.

Recommendation Level: High

Rockstar WordPress Designer

There are 7 comments:

  1. Thank you for the information, i didn’t knew this book. I wonder if the book How to be a rockstar freelancer is really interesting, maybe you’ll have an article about it some time.

  2. Great review, I may get this book now.

  3. Adrian says:

    Thanks for the review, I’ve been thinking of getting this book for a while now, but wanted to make sure it was the right book for me before purchasing.

    I have a good knowledge of css/xhtml and know a little php, but haven’t used wordpress at all yet. I am very interested in trying to use wordpress as a content management system for my clients websites.

    I hope this book will help with this.

  4. Meron says:

    Thanks for the review. The title sounded fun and your review made it clear that the book is worthwhile. Good review and now I’m off to purchase the book.

  5. Dan says:

    Great review, looks like a worthy purchase – I’m just starting to look at using WordPress as a CMS but don’t know much about creating the sites.

  6. Slate Blank says:

    I agree with your review – for the most part

  7. Rogier says:

    I am thinking of buying this book! I am interested in getting a CMS behind my html/css designs. I only have very little experience in PHP. Is this still the book for me, or should I learn PHP befor even thinking of making WordPress CMS websites?

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