Saturday, May 29, 2010

Building A WordPress Blog People Want To Read - Scott McNulty

Building A WordPress Blog People Want To Read
Scott McNulty
Peachpit Press
Copyright: 2008

The product description:
Having your own blog isn't just for the nerdy anymore. Today, it seems everyonefrom multinational corporations to a neighbor up the streethas a blog. They all have one, in part, because the folks at WordPress make it easy to get one. but to actually build a good blogto create a blog people want to readtakes thought, planning, and some effort. From picking a theme and using tags to choosing widgets and building a community, creating your blog really starts after you set it up. In this book by blogger extraordinaire Scott McNulty, you learn how to:

  • Install and get your WordPress blog running.
  • Set up your site to ensure it can easily grow with you and your readers.
  • Be the master of user accounts.
  • Manage your site with the WordPress Dashboard and extend its capabilities with plug-ins.
  • Make the most of images.
  • Work with pages, templates, and links andof coursepublish your posts.
  • Deal with commentsif you even want readers commenting at all.
  • Find a themeor build one yourself.
  • Maintain your site and fix common problems.
I bought the book because I'm seriously thinking of starting a second blog. I could go with Blogger again, but I'm thinking that there are some features of WordPress I'd like to try out. That said, on to the review.

Building A WordPress Blog People Want To Read is incredibly small for a computer book. Despite that, it's going to prove itself to be very useful, I think. The focus of the book is on the self-hosted WordPress from, and not the hosted blogging platform. It goes into detail about what you'll need in order to set up the blog, and then looks at each different aspect in more depth, including some of the problems to be aware of. There were a lot of things I hadn't thought about, but that will be my responsibility when I set up the second blog.

The process of customizing and editing the blog layout is explained well, with examples - all of which will be needed by anyone who's setting up a WordPress blog for the first time. I think this book was written more for people like me: people who've never really worked with WordPress at all and who may not have any experience with programming either. We'll see how well it turns out.

On the other hand, I don't think the title of the book, Building A WordPress Blog People Want To Read, is really true to what the book actually covers. "Building A WordPress Blog" yes. In depth, even. But, I didn't really see anything that concerned the second half of the title: "That People Want To Read". I was hoping for some tips on how to write better posts, or what kinds of layouts people find work the best to attract and keep readers, or ways of promoting blogs that might be more WordPress specific. It seemed to me that the emphasis was on "making the blog", and not "making the blog a success", which was kind of what I was led to believe the book would be about.

So, overall, I'd have to say that Building A WordPress Blog People Want To Read is both a really useful book, but at the same time, also a bit of a disappointment.

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