Both my husband and I read this book to get different opinions. My husband is a very technical software product manager and I am a photographer. So you have a more savvy technical-oriented reader and a complete neophyte.
I had used Wordpress to set up a blogsite for my company earlier in the year. As easy as Wordpress is, it can still be challenging and so I was hoping this book will make the next update project easier. Although it isn't as graphical as I would like, it does get me up and running with wordpress. I do feel more comfortable about tackling my next blogsite redo/update without having to go running to my husband when I get stuck.
My husband, however, had an interesting opinion after reading the book. He feels that it does help you get started but worries that in 'dumbing down' a lot of the concepts of wordpress, it might be doing a disservice in the long wrong. He felt that recommending you get scripts/templates from elsewhere to learn how people use Wordpress would be liking going into a custom built house to learn how houses are built. Typically, they are so specific to the creator, often with faults or strange/unecessary ways to approach tasks, that readers could pick up more bad habits than good.
I'm rating this 4 stars because it is meant for the less technical oriented like myself. 1 less star because I would have liked it more graphical and with a greater focus on the neophyte. The minute I start reading heavy Linux recs next to basic tips like to use someone else's scripts, I think the focus gets a bit fractured and too all-purpose.
Lots of little tweaks to my blog even though it was already self-hosted and I learned how to fix somethings if they broke and enjoy some other perks. Learning tricks I never thought possible was fantastic was an added bonus. Playing along with the online DVD made this book not only a great read but interactive so I didn't need to practice on my own blog with the possibility of breaking it.
It would be worth adding to my shelf if I wasn't afraid information changes so fast.
Overall, this is an okay guide on how to use WordPress, but there were specific things I was looking for that this book was not able to answer. It's fine for those seeking an introduction to WordPress, but not for those who are looking for a reference book on WP.