1. Technology

The WordPress Anthology

by Mick Olinik and Raena Jackson Armitage

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating


The WordPress Anthology

The WordPress Anthology by Mick Olinik and Raena Jackson Armitage

Image courtesy PriceGrabber

Bottom Line

WordPress is my favorite blogging platform because it’s so easy to use and you can have a site up and running in a matter of minutes. But even better, you can then customize and create an extremely fancy site with all the bells and whistles you want once you know how WordPress works.

This is a great book for intermediate designers who want to learn more about the inner workings of WordPress. This is not a book for beginners, but if you’re not afraid of code like PHP, then you’ll be able to use this book to really get an understanding of WordPress. And you’ll be able to use WordPress for more than just blogging.


  • Covers the basics and intermediate features of WordPress clearly
  • Even has some of the more advanced features like plugins, multisite, and internationalization


  • Some people will really like the humorous asides and anecdotes, but I found them distracting
  • All-in-all the book is fairly short for what it covers
  • Doesn’t really mention using WordPress as a CMS


  • Publisher: Sitepoint
  • Price: $39.95
  • Length: 303 pages
  • Released: © 2011
  • Chapter 1 Hello World—This chapter introduces you to WordPress including the history of the software, how to install it, and where you can go to learn more about it.
  • Chapter 2 WordPress 101—This chapter takes you through how to configure WordPress. You’ll learn about the options and settings, as well as how to create and manage the content.
  • Chapter 3 The Loop and WordPress File System—Here you learn about the WordPress file structure and how to work with it.
  • Chapter 4 Post Types—Once you’ve got a basic blog going, you’ll want to start creating other types of posts, and this chapter shows you how and how to use them.
  • Chapter 5 Plugins—One advantage to WordPress is the large number of plugins available. This chapter talks about how to use plugins, when to avoid them, and how plugins work within your system.
  • Chapter 6 Themes—Themes are how your WordPress site looks. This chapter helps you to build your own theme.
  • Chapter 7 Taxonomies—Taxonomies are how your site is organized: categories, tags, and other custom taxonomies.
  • Chapter 8 Image Galleries and Featured Images—The media library is the first step to creating an image gallery and this chapter takes you through how to use your images effectively.
  • Chapter 9 The WordPress API—The API is how you can build child themes and other tools to interact with your website.
  • Chapter 10 Multisite: Rolling Your Own Network—This chapter explains what a multisite is and how to set them up and manage them.
  • Chapter 11 Going Global with Themes and Plugins—You might be surprised by how many people come to your site from countries other than your own. This chapter helps you to internationalize your WordPress site.
  • Chapter 12 SEO, Marketing, and Goal Conversion—The final chapter helps you get more pageviews with search engine optimization (SEO) but add to that the idea of improving your site by measuring against goals and making changes to improve your site based on those goals.

Jennifer Kyrnin’s Review of The WordPress Anthology

This is a good book for web developers who want to use WordPress, but would like their site to be more custom than they are out of the box. You’ll learn the basics of WordPress and some of the more advanced features, plugins, and themes. The longest chapter covers the basics of WordPress exhaustively.

Then, as you saw from the description above, there are chapters on nearly anything else you might want to do to WordPress. But ultimately, the book seemed somewhat short for what it covers. Especially when you include the many cute stories, jokes and anecdotes that are sprinkled throughout the text. Some people really like that type of content, I find it a bit distracting.

The book has a lot of examples for how to do the various things it teaches, and that makes it a bit easier. But you should not assume that this is a book for beginners. The underpinnings of WordPress can be very technical, and this book is more technical than you might expect.

This is silly, but one of the things that bugs me about this book is the title. I think of an anthology as a collection of works by different writers or a collection of various things. This is really just a book about the internals of WordPress. How is it an anthology?

This is a good book for getting started building and updating WordPress sites. It’s perfect for intermediate WordPress developers who want to take their blogs further.

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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