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Definitive list of WordPress books

I've been plugging away with WordPress for some years now. In that time, I've never really taken time to fully understand the platform. It powers my site, and that's been enough. But I feel I need to know more about the system to get the most use out of it.

Please suggest any books that cover WP in some depth. I don't necessarily need WordPress 101, but I am particularly interested in making use of WP's extensibility, as well as building themes.

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I've ordered the SitePoint book, and am looking forward to receiving it. Having read SitePoint books before, I am sure this one will be good! A pity I can only select one answer, a number of good-looking books were mentioned. Thanks all! –  Grant Palin Sep 4 '10 at 6:47
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marked as duplicate by Rarst Jun 22 '12 at 17:54

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8 Answers

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Hi @Grant Palin:

If you are like me you probably view most books as being much too simple to really learn anything useful from because publishers are always trying to dumb them down to reach a broader audience. If you are like me, these two are probably some of the better books on the market because I think they are among the more advanced:

Build Your Own Wicked WordPress Themes

WordPress Plugin Development – Beginner’s Guide

Cover of Vladimir Prelovac's WordPress Plugin Development – Beginner’s Guide

Of course the books recommended by the others have their merits so, unless the cost of these books is significant to you I'd recommend grabbing them all and seeing what you can learn! Of course be sure to come back here to ask question about anything that's unclear or that that you have to take to a much great depth!

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Vladimirs books has muh examples and code - the best book actually for developers with WP. All other books here are more for beginner and users, want to customize, not development. downside: the book from Vladimir is a little bid old. I know only a book in german language with content from beginner to developer. For learn AJAX and WP use the book from wpajax.com, is great. –  bueltge Sep 1 '10 at 5:13
    
I agree with your remark on the audience of the books. I am an advanced user, and am looking for more information than just how to use the system. I'm taking a look at the Sitepoint book on theming, as that is an area of interest, and a book dedicated to the topic is appealing. That plus it is a recent release. –  Grant Palin Sep 1 '10 at 5:57
    
The SitePoint book was very recently published and looks very helpful if you want to focus on themes. –  Chris_O Sep 1 '10 at 6:51
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I recently looked at Smashing WordPress and it had a lot of really good info on building themes and using WordPress as a CMS:

http://www.amazon.com/Smashing-WordPress-Beyond-Blog-Magazine/dp/0470684151

Another good one is Digging Into WordPress by Chris Coyier & Jeff Starr

http://digwp.com/book/

EDIT 9/2/10

I wanted to add another option which is WordPress Bible by: Aaron Brazell with Mark Jaquith Technical Editor:

alt text

http://www.amazon.com/WordPress-Bible-Aaron-Brazell/dp/0470568135/

I own this book and it is the closest thing to a complete WordPress reference thats available.

Until now, there has never been a book that covers the topic holistically and exhaustively and for all levels of expertise. -Aaron Brazell
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The Smashing book looks good, I recall it got a lot of attention when it was released. I'm slightly peeved by the fact that it targets WP 2.8, considering that v3.0 was recently released. Do you know if it makes any difference? –  Grant Palin Sep 1 '10 at 5:54
    
On the other hand, the Digging into WordPress book also looks good, and apparently has been revised for WP 3... –  Grant Palin Sep 1 '10 at 5:55
    
The Smashing Book doesn't cover any of the new 3.0 features but it is not out dated either. Digging into WordPress is frequently updated and covers more general topics. –  Chris_O Sep 1 '10 at 6:50
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I recently bought WordPress Bible by Aaron Brazell. The book covers most topics pretty well. A good place to start for developing for WordPress. I think this is the best book for your purpose.

http://www.amazon.com/WordPress-Bible-Aaron-Brazell/dp/0470568135

I've also bought WordPress Plugin Development: A Beginners' Guide by Vladmir Prelovac but that is more of a cookbook style book. You can't use it like a reference.

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I would recommend buying a copy of "Digging into WordPress" by Chris Coyier & Jeff Starr.

This book goes pretty in depth, but with some nicely written copy and with good examples. These two guys knows their stuff, so I recommend this book to you, as I have recommended it to many others.

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Well if you can wait till March 2011, then probably you should cause Professional WordPress Plugin Development Book will be out by then authored by Justin Tadlock, Ozh Richard and Brad Williams.

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Personally just got this one and love it. Its pretty concise and too the point. –  Manny Fleurmond Jun 10 '11 at 6:08
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'Head First WordPress' could be your best choice. Their Head First series have become the standard for tech books.

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This is also a good book for Wordpress themes http://rockablepress.com/books/rockstar-wordpress-designer/

And here are some more http://www.netchunks.com/reviews/25-best-books-for-wordpress-bloggers/

Altough in my opinion online content of http://codex.wordpress.org/Main_Page is best and updated resource among all.

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I have been using Aaron Brazell's "WordPress Bible" since it came out. I've known Aaron since before the book was released and he is the one person I could go to with any WP-related question...if he wasn't busy working on other WP stuff :)

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