Chad Warner's Reviews > WordPress Web Design for Dummies

WordPress Web Design for Dummies by Lisa Sabin-Wilson
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Apr 07, 12

bookshelves: non-fiction, web-design, wordpress
Recommended for: WordPress designers, developers, administrators
Read in April, 2012

This book is one of the best on WordPress I’ve read, because it covers the work I do with WordPress: administration, tweaking themes, and finding and using plugins. It shows how to create several types of sites with WordPress, and explains the HTML, CSS, and PHP needed to tweak themes or build them from scratch. It features colorful code snippets and screenshots. I really liked the many excellent plugin recommendations. The book is best for the intermediate to advanced WordPress designer, developer, or administrator.

I liked Chapter 11: Dissecting Themes and Templates, and Chapter 12: Displaying Content with Widgets and Template Tags. So far I’ve only tweaked themes, but these chapters made me eager to dive deeper into theme development. This book convinced me that I’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible with WordPress.

Because of what I do with WordPress, this book was more relevant than the other WordPress For Dummies books: WordPress for Dummies (read my review) and WordPress All-in-One For Dummies (read my review).

Notes
Optimize images with the Dynamic Drive Image Optimizer or Web Resizer.
Create a portfolio page by creating a category called Portfolio, filling it with posts with featured images, then calling them with query_posts().

Hosts that support WordPress
Blogs About Hosting
HostGator
Bluehost
DreamHost

Free font resources
UrbanFonts.com
1001 Free Fonts
daFont.com
FontFreak.com
ActionFonts.com

Premium font resources
Fonts.com
MyFonts.com

Premium WordPress themes
iThemes
ThemeGarden.com
Organic Themes

Plugin recommendations
E-commerce plugins
Cart66 (premium) doesn’t require much theme tweaking
WP e-Commerce (free) requires theme tweaking
MarketPress (free) doesn’t require much theme tweaking, and is good for WordPress Network (Multisite) and BuddyPress
Shopp (premium) requires theme tweaking

Gallery plugins
NextGEN Gallery creates sortable photo galleries
Organizer allows you to organize, rename, resize, and manage uploaded images
Random Image Widget displays a random image from the image-upload folder
Mini-Slides lets you create inline slideshows

Social network plugins
Twitter Tools for Twitter integration
WordBooker for Facebook integration

Miscellaneous plugins
Advanced Text Widget allows you to execute raw PHP code and specify on which pages it should be displayed
Custom Post Type UI provides an easy to use interface to create and administer custom post types and taxonomies
WP Featured Content Slider makes a slideshow of recent posts with images
Collision Testimonials Shortcode puts client testimonials on the front page, and creates a full testimonials page
All in One SEO Pack for SEO
PluginBuddy Mobile (premium) creates a mobile-ready version of your website.
Subscribe to Comments to let visitors subscribe to individual posts
ShareThis for adding social sharing icons
WP Super Cache for caching
WP Security Scan for improving security
BackupBuddy (premium) for creating backups and migrating sites
WPMU Premium (premium) is a collection of plugins including membership, classified ads, chat, domain mapping, and anti-spam
WP Nivo Slider creates a slideshow that prominently displays content (good for front pages)
Simple:Press creates a support forum
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