Author: Matthew MacDonald

Publisher: O’Reilly, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-449-30984-8

Part One

It’s an appropriately long title for a very big book, and the author and his creative team are right on the money to shame the folks who don’t bother to tell us how to make the most of their product. From my viewpoint as a writer, the whole software industry has just a couple of layers: the people dreaming up software products; the people marketing software products; the people buying software packages to grab customers like me; and the people waiting for customers like me to become frustrated. Then it starts all over with an update or patch.

Well, ha-ha! I have a genuinely wonderful host for my website ( and they answer all my questions politely and in plain English , otherwise leave me alone and charge only a couple of hundred dollars a year. My goal is to make my website better known and more versatile.

Also, I am a publications designer, the old-fashioned kind who designed as well as wrote education and marketing materials until I realized computer design was BORING!! Computer art is not what I call art. Most websites are less attractive than annoying. I had two very good people set up my website about a decade ago, and now it should be jazzier. All I can do is add color, vary type sizes, and post my own photos.

This review is going to be written in stages as I learn. Now I am looking at this daunting book and its organization. It has five sections, starting with how WordPress works. All of Part One seems to be for the person who wants to do the things other people have already cone for me. It ends with “managing,” and that’s where I come in. I can add posts and rearrange things a little. Part Two is “Building a WordPress Blog; Part Three is “Supercharging Your Blog” and Part Four is “From Blog to Website.” The fifth is the appendix.

The type is light and small, but the graphics help lead your eye around the pages in the right sequence. Boldface helps, too. The hardest part for me will be to appreciate the dashboard. There is too much on the dashboard demanding my attention in terminology that is foreign to me. Besides, none of the illustrations look like my screen, so my first chore is to make sure (by E-query to PepperStation) that I have the latest version of WordPress. It is easy for my old eyes to miss a popup telling me to install the new version of something.

Be patient, please. I will add more comments on this manual as appropriate. Meanwhile, I will keep on posting at my Blog.

Part Two

So Far, Mostly Good

This is part two of my review of the “missing manual” for WordPress, a free and “open source” software built by volunteers and used by many individuals as well as companies for their websites. I began to use WordPress when I hired a website consultant who recommended as my support. In short order I was up and running and managing my own content – but it was just writing. I could vary type size and color. I learned to post pictures but it seemed to take a long time.

As I posted above, I realized that I had not updated my version of WordPress. I thought I would have to call my technical help. Wrong! The reminder was right there on my screen and I had just been too interested in my post to see what was going on around the dashboard. I updated, and now my screen matches the pictures in the book, more-or-less. Everything I was doing became much easier in a few moments.

I spent considerable time organizing my categories and tags, thanks to a very important chapter in the manual. My next goal is more connectivity to drive viewers to my website. (I had lost traffic during the year I hardly posted anything at all.) Also, I will read carefully the chapter on collaboration, as there are many reasons for people to work together, one being to keep it up at a steady pace. (Look at as an example of what authors can do together.) That reminds me to mention that there is an excellent appendix listing “helpful websites” for each chapter.

Do I think anyone (especially over 65) can create and work with WordPress with just the manual for help? It depends on their degree of techie-ness and the amount of time they have. At 75 I am time-limited. While I recognize there are many tools I could use to heighten interest in what I am doing, I will continue to seek expert opinions. Frankly speaking, I think the missing manual may be even more valuable to them.

Follow Here To Purchase WordPress: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals)

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