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I was fortunate to receive an advanced copy of this book written by Brad Williams, David Damstra, and Hal Stern. I regularly follow Brad Williams on both Twitter and the blogosphere to see what he is saying about developing WordPress. Whether that be his Plugin Development, Theme Development or core insights, he knows his stuff for sure. I commented on his blog and within a few weeks, the book arrived at my door. Thanks Brad!

Having received the book by mail, and was to deliver a review as quick as possible, I was excited to get moving and digging into it. Well, to tell you the truth, it already has coffee stains, dog ears, and torn pages from use, but I am just now getting to the review (kind of a hint of the knowledge this book brings)!

Let’s start from the beginning… which is actually what this book does for you. From setting up local development to your first post, this book is for developers looking to get a deep insight on what changes can be made to all aspects (including content marketing), which very few books on WordPress development actually do. That part I liked a lot. You will find that reading this book from cover to cover, will give you vast knowledge on the ins-and-outs of WordPress core and some of your own custom functions/processes that you can add to it.

However, because I am not an avid reader of books (outside of Web Development and Christianity), I did not follow the page numbers, but rather, used the Table of Contents to go to the parts that were important to me.

Local Development

Whether you have a Windows Machine or Macintosh, you will find a step-by-step tutorial on how-to get your development environment set-up and ready to start very quickly. From your AMP stack (Apache, MySql, PHP) to custom wp-config code that you can use to help you develop your next piece of WordPress Poetry.

Developing with WordPress

The authors go to great lengths to give you explicit instructions and definitions on each step of digging into the components that make up your development environment. From database details to function calls, they cover the how-to’s and the ‘because’ of it all. If you were ever stuck in the mud, or just trying to get your head above water with development, there are a couple chapters that will have you developing like the pros (well, like Brad!).

The Good, The Bad, and the Awesomesauce

To begin the second half of this book, it begins to get into the reason why anyone that wants to get more involved in Design and Development of WordPress. From utilizing WordPress as a CMS (content management site), theme development, plugin development and even the security aspects of WordPress, these chapters cover it all.

There are some chapters that will not be an easy read for everyone (I glanced over a few), because not all aspects of WordPress are for everyone. For example, I do not use Multisite too often, or for whatever reason, I do not use a Mac, so I just gloss over those parts or sections.

The best part about this book, the Awesomesauce is the fact that 95% of this book can be enjoyed by everyone. There is enough beginner and advanced information within these pages that should give reason to have this book as an arrow in your design and development quiver. But, it does not stop there. To wrap this book up, it goes into great detail on how anyone can get more out of WordPress by getting involved in the Community, with the people. Resources, Hangouts, Camps, etc… where can you find like minded WordPress enthusiasts? This finale will reveal.

The Game Changer

The reason why this book is a game changer is because it goes away from the normal ‘step-by’step’ or ‘how-to’ and gives you in-depth descriptions as to ‘why’ you will need to do this and that. By explaining the rational of each function, modification or WordPress core, the ‘why’ to use is the most often overlooked single piece in books. However, these guys nailed it here, and I highly recommend this book to all of those that either want to get started or have been long time adventurous folks within the WordPress community.

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