I’m not an avid book reader as most of my reading is done online through blogs! Of course, its not the simplest and fastest way to learn things as compared to books. However I prefer this way over books as I’ve noticed this has worked in my favour more than the traditional way. I do realize that not everyone prefers the self learning method through blogs and some even don’t look outside books.
For those I thought of listing some of the most useful and popular books on the topic of WordPress design & development.
1. How to be a RockStar WordPress Designer – RockablePress
Managing web content has always been tricky, but with WordPress, any web designer can have a flexible, free and powerful CMS to use not just on blogging projects, but on all sorts of websites. In How To Be a Rockstar WordPress Designer you will learn step by step how to take a straight HTML site and power it with WordPress. You surely need knowledge of HTML & CSS to go forward with this book. The book helps you learn the art of creating WordPress Designs by working on three WordPress designs as examples through out this book. It’s one of my favourites and one that I recommend the most.
2. Build Your Own Wicked WordPress Themes – SitePoint
Build Your Own Wicked WordPress Themes is a step-by-step guide to creating beautiful themes for the world’s most popular CMS, WordPress. By following the book’s advice, readers can produce designs that are aesthetically stunning, consistent, and for-purpose -whether it’s for their own use, or to drive a high price on the theme marketplace. The book was published by SitePoint and is probably one of the reason to buy this book. SitePoint has always been a great resource for webmasters and same can be said about this book too.
3. WordPress Plug-in Development –Vladimir Prelovac
I f you can write WordPress plug-ins, you can make WordPress do just about anything. From making the site easier to administer, to adding the odd tweak or new feature, to completely changing the way your blog works, plug-ins are the method WordPress offers to customize and extend its functionality. Vladimir Prelovac needs no introduction in WordPress community. He’s author of some of the most popular WordPress plug-ins, so its not a wonder that he released this fantastic book. If you are planning to do cool things with WordPress, this is the book that you need to purchase!
4. Smashing WordPress: Beyond The Blog – Smashing Magazine
Smashing WordPress shows you how to utilize the power of the WordPress platform, and provides a creative spark to help you build WordPress-powered sites that go beyond the obvious. You will learn the core concepts used to build just about anything in WordPress, resulting in fast deployments and greater design flexibility. The book was published by Smashing Magazine, one of the most popular design blogs on the internet and their 200,000+ subscribers prove that too! Smashing Magazine is powered by WordPress and as they learnt about the power of WordPress, they decided to pen down its power and flexibility in a book. Smashing WordPress talks about how one can utilize WordPress as CMS by building themes & plug-ins.
5. Professional WordPress: Design and Development – Hal Stern, David Damstra & Brad Williams
As the most popular blogging and content management platform available today, WordPress is a powerful tool. This exciting book goes beyond the basics and delves into the heart of the WordPress system, offering overviews of the functional aspects of WordPress as well as plug-in and theme development. This book provides in-depth look at the design and development of WordPress as CMS. It’s distributed by Wrox and probably one the reasons to go for the book. Wrox has always been pretty impressive with their collection of books and this book is no exception.
6. WordPress Theme Design – Tessa Blakeley Silver
It seems like WordPress developers have aspirations to promote it to a full Content Management System. The book relates how WordPress grew out of a means of easily customising a blogging system. To a large extent, Silver indeed persuasively demonstrates that it can function as CMS. The reviews of the book are impressive although one of the reviewer has mentioned that this book explains CSS in better way than XHTML & PHP.
7. A Brain-Friendly Guide to Creating Your Own Custom WordPress Blog – Jeff Siatro
With this book you’ll learn how to move beyond the standard WordPress look and feel by customizing your blog with your own URL, templates, plugin functionality, and more. As you learn, you’ll be working with real WordPress files. The book’s website provides pre-fab WordPress themes to download and work with as you follow along with the text. The book focus on extending WordPress with themes & plugins and teaches that how one can convert HTML & CSS based templates into functional WordPress themes! O’Reilly Media is the publisher of this book and have put it in their Head-First series of books.
8. WordPress 3 Site Blueprints – Heather R Wallace
This book isn’t designed for beginners, those with even an intermediate knowledge of WordPress will be able to get these sites up and running in no time. Also, since each chapter is devoted to the design of a different site, there’s no need to read the book in any particular order. Instead, you can pick and choose the blueprints that are of the most interest to you and dive right in. Heather R. Wallace, author of this book suggests that if readers will have knowledge of HTML & CSS then it’ll be beneficial for them, although knowledge of PHP isn’t required.
9. BuddyPress For Dummies – Lisa Sabin Wilson
Got a cause, a hobby, or some other obsession you can’t wait to share with a like-minded community? BuddyPress is the buddy you need to get that community started. Here’s how to get BuddyPress up and running on your WordPress Web site and use its free tools and themes to host a social network devoted to your pet projects, right on your site. Lisa Sabin Wilson’s name in WordPress community is not new. She wrote the first and very popular book for beginners of WordPress, WordPress for Dummies! If you are new to WordPress & want to extend it to a level where it can compete with Facebook – errmm, that’ll be like exaggerating; lets rephrase the last sentence – “If you are new to WordPress & want to extend it to a level where it’ll be better than Orkut, then you’ll need to learn about BuddyPress.” This will add new dimensions in your WordPress design & development!