Book Review: WordPress for Business Bloggers
A few months ago, I received a book from Packt Publishing:
WordPress for Business Bloggers - by Paul Thewlis
It took me quite long to read since I had a lot of other things to do, but now I´m finally ready to write a review about it.
The title and especially the sub-title (”promote and grow your WordPress blog with advanced plugins, analytics, advertising, and SEO”) of the book implies that it´s an advanced guide for WP bloggers, but in the preface of the book, we can find two paragraphs that describe for whom the book is for:
This book is for anybody running or starting a business blog using WordPress. Whether you plan to use your blog for PR and marketing, or want to profit directly from blogging, this book offers you everything you need.
As we want to get into the specifics of business blogging as quickly as possible, we don´t cover the WordPress basics. So it´s best to have some experience with WordPress before you start with this book.
Even if you are very new to WordPress or just thinking about starting a blog, I also recommend this book to you, because the first chapter of the book is a great and brief introduction to the different types of blogs that exist and it helps you to find out what you want to achieve with your blog.
To continue with the book, you will then need to have some basic working experience with WordPress. In other words, you should have already installed WordPress on your site and feel at least a bit comfortable with the admin area of your WP blog.
The writing style is very easy for everybody to understand. A well-balanced combination of text and screenshots - taken from the WordPress admin area and other websites - is used throughout the book to guide you step-by-step
through all the processes.
I found all the WordPress plugins presented in the book are very useful and their use is well explained.
The book features a case-study blog to which most of the lessons and examples are applied. In addition, you can download and use the exact same WordPress theme used in the case-study blog for your own blog in order to get used to manipulating a theme, following the exact same steps like shown in the book.
Here´s a quick overview of the chapters:
Chapter 1: Showcasing a few different types of blog, helps you to find out what you want to achieve with your blog
Chapter 2: Introducing the case-study blog. business goals, planning, implementation.
Chapter 3: Blog Design, teaching some basics about designing your own theme.
Note: If you don´t already know the basics of CSS and HTML, you shouldn´t spend too much time with this and quickly skim over this chapter. Start your blog first and if you have time later, it´s always good to learn the basics of HTML and CSS and then start playing around with WordPress theme design and modification. And if you really want to dig into the subject of WP theme design, you can check out the WordPress Theme Design book, another title from Packt Puplishing.
One part I really liked much in this chapter, because I hadn´t done it before, is the part about setting up a local development environment on your computer. A local development area allows you to install, run and manipulate a WordPress blog on your computer without being connected to the internet. This is very useful when you play around with your blog´s theme design or when you want to test a new plugin or any other code - even WordPress upgrades - for compatibility before you install it on your real blog. Believe me, this can save you a lot of trouble.
Chapter 4: Images and Videos: installing and manipulating images with “The GIMP”, images in WP posts, how to create thumbnails, how to get videos on your blog.
Chapter 5: creating content, how to write articles for your blog, some basics and good posting tips, managing the content of your blog with categories and tags, creating static pages and also important: easy instruction for creating backups of your blog and its database and how to restore your database from a backup file.
Chapter 6: introduction to search engine optimization, featuring some good plugins and tools. Tips to optimize your blog pages for better search engine rankings. This chapter only covers the basics of SEO, but if you get these right, your blog should do very well.
Chapter 7: all most important basics about feeds, feedburner, blog indexes, social networks and social bookmarking.
Chapter 8: connecting with the blogosphere, the importance of comments and how to prevent your blog from spam.
Chapter 9: statistics - web traffic, visitors, rss subscribers, seo results and how to implement “Google Analytics” on your blog.
Chapter 10: monetizing your blog. a presentation of different ways to earn revenue from your blog, easy guides to use Google AdSense and the Amazon Associates network, great tips for selling banner ads.
Chapter 11: managing growth. This is a very important chapter once your blog grows in popularity. You will learn how to manage higher loads of website traffic and if necessary, how to move your blog to a new server.
The last part in chapter 11 shows that this book is really meant for business bloggers. You will learn how to use a multi-user version of WordPress (WordPress MU) to run a network of blogs, for example for all your colleagues or for all the co-workers in your company.
WordPress for Business Bloggers is available as physical book and e-book, just like all the other book titles at Packt Publishing. If you are completely new to WordPress, you may also want to consider the book WordPress Complete (by Hasin Hayder, also for sale at the Packt Publishing website), which is a great companion to this book and covers everything about installing and using WordPress.