Thursday, July 08, 2010

Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog (Smashing Magazine Book Series)

I consider myself to have a slightly better than a beginning understanding of PHP language. Even then, I found the book somewhat difficult to understand. The author uses his own blog theme (Notes Core) as the foundation for the exercises he uses in this book. I did like his coverage on theming Wordpress, template tags, hooks, and plugin's. I just wished the author would have clarified a little bit more in his examples. I feel I may have to read this book again just to 'get it' about customizing Wordpress. At any rate, I will be sure to rely on it as a referemce before I delve into the WordPress Codex.

One thing the book does illustrate very effectively, is using Wordpress as a Content Management System. There are several examples on how to create static pages, how to customize pages based on category tags, custom programming involving multiple Wordpress Loops and hooks, and much more. I needed to know this information, as I'd like to use WordPress as a starting foundation for my web designs, be they blogs or webpages.

One nitpick; the book has full color throughout? Why couldn't the code examples be syntax highlighted by color? I'm trying to parse the PHP code examples, but after looking at PHP code in my IDE, I just find it difficult to follow such code in any other way. Line numbers would be great, so that the content can refer to them in explaining the code. This way, this book could be a little bit more accessible to PHP programmers who have not had much experience. (Like me, for instance!)

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