Book Review – WordPress: The Missing Manual

Want to learn WordPress but have no idea where to start? This is the book for you.

So maybe you have been thinking about starting a blog, you are being added to someone else’s or you now have to manage a WordPress site at your job or for your business. Where do you start? There are countless pages of information online, but none of it can be useful because you don’t know the basics yet. Perhaps you aren’t a technical master and have found that many of the resources online are full of jargon or assumptions. Well, there is a perfect place to start and this is it: WordPress: The Missing Manual (2nd Edition).

Why This Book?

I picked this book up in August last year after starting our blog back in May and having no idea how to work with WordPress. I have used ‘The Missing Manual’ series previously in college and found them to be very informative and easy to read so I thought I would give this book a shot. I was not disappointed. This book contains everything you need to know to learn the interface and manage your blog/site and prime you to dive deeper into customizations if you so choose.

What WordPress Version?

3.9 to be precise, however that doesn’t matter. I understand you may wonder if this book is still accurate considering it was written for WordPress 3.9 and the most current version as of this writing is 4.3. To answer that, yes everything is still 100% useful. There were no major changes that make the screenshots invalid, concepts change or otherwise make this outdated since it was written. In short all the content still applies and is just as useful today as it was for 3.9. So don’t hesitate on purchasing this because its written for an older version.


As I said previously this book covers everything you need to know about working with WordPress. From how it’s organized, customizing your site with themes and plug-ins, and how to add pages and posts and include other media in them. It includes tutorials for setting up multiple authors, and how to manage comments. It even explains how to install it if you choose to self host(however I would only advise this for those who are at least moderately technical unless your web host can manage it for you). All of these are explained in detail with additional tips beyond how to set them up or work with each feature.


This book is fantastically well written. You don’t need to have a background in I.T. to understand what the author is talking about and everything is written in simple and to the point English. I feel anyone would be able to read this and become fluent in WordPress even those who are basic computer users. It has a very friendly and conversational tone which makes it incredibly easy to not put down. I marathoned this book on numerous occasions because it was that good and easy to digest.

Final Thoughts

I read through most of this pretty fast, but as I had an active WordPress blog I didn’t have the chance to read it front to back and have all of it stay as new content. I ended up using the internet to get answers to help tailor NautilusMODE before reaching some topics the book presents, but it was still a nice refresher and is a great reference until you master the platform.

If you are new to WordPress and need a place to start this is it. However, if you already have experience with working in and administering WordPress you will probably find most of the book old hat. This is a great one stop shop for beginners, and doesn’t cover any advanced topics in too much detail.

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