I've been thinking about what other large community wiki post site can benefit from. Questions about books come up all the time and I think it will be beneficial to have one large list to consolidate available literature on WordPress.

Please include:

  • title
  • author(s) (preferably with links and cred)
  • topic(s) covered
  • user level targeted
  • form (paper/ebook)
  • pricing (if applicable)
  • link to home site (if available)

Please one book per answer so it is easier to edit, discuss and vote on.

Please keep it civil with affiliate links. I don't particularly mind those, but we all want to see books that are genuinely useful, not those with large commission.

  • Nice post! Commented Jan 29, 2011 at 22:30
  • Possible duplicate: wordpress.stackexchange.com/questions/1121/… Commented Jan 30, 2011 at 22:49
  • @Grant Palin that question is about advanced books. There had been multiple books questions and there are a lot of duplicate book suggestions between them, that it why I wanted to start comprehensive community wiki list.
    – Rarst
    Commented Jan 31, 2011 at 7:09

9 Answers 9


Professional WordPress Plugin Development


The trio of established authors provides a practical, solutions-based approach along with a collection of timely examples and plenty of code, all aimed at clearly explaining how to create a plugin file, work with users, integrate widgets, add menus and submenus, secure your plugins, and more.

Plugin development for range from hobbyists to professionals.

Full table of content

Samples (PDF):


Digging into WordPress

By Jeff Starr and Chris Coyier of popular WordPress blog by same name.

From your first steps of learning about WordPress all the way through maintaining a site throughout the years, this book is packed with truly practical information.

(source: digwp.com)

Large solid books that covers multiple topics from installation to internals, customization and maintenance. For wide range of users from novice to intermediary+. Updated for major WordPress releases (currently contains updates for 2.9 and 3.0).

Available as:

  • paper+PDF bundle, $70
  • PDF download, $27

Sample (PDF).


  • Great book, but wish it was more like a book and not a giant Powerpoint. Commented May 11, 2011 at 22:38

Beginning WordPress 3

by Stephanie Leary


Beginning WordPress 3 is a complete guide for the beginning developer who wants to start using WordPress. You'll learn how to publish and manage online content, add media, create widgets and plugins, and much more.

Level | Intermediate

That blurb above is spot-on, but this book should probably be called Beginning WordPress 3 Development. Reason being, this book is aimed at people who are comfortable with using WordPress but want to explore programming WordPress. Nice lightweight introduction to core concepts like the plugin/widget APIs, custom post types and taxonomies, basic techniques for slicing and dicing HTML into a theme, etc. A good introduction for someone about to embark on their first theme build, and a great jump point for more advanced books.

eBook | $27.99

Paper | $39.99

Book preview is available on Google Books


WordPress and Ajax (2nd Edition)

by Ronald Huereca

The WordPress and Ajax e-book is a comprehensive view on using Ajax with WordPress. The book lays the foundation for you, and then walks you through three real-world examples of how to use Ajax within WordPress.

Book focuses on JavaScript, Ajax and jQuery in WordPress.

Available as:

  • ebook (price not disclosed without going to PayPal for processing, I didn't bother) had been made free to download
  • paper, $20

Sample (not working at time of writing this)



Build Your Own Wicked WordPress Themes

authors: Allan Cole, Raena Jackson Armitage, Brandon R. Jones and Jeffrey Way

We'll simplify your life as a developer by introducing you to the Thematic framework, so that building solid themes is a breeze! You'll also learn how to maximize profits by effectively marketing and selling your themes on the Web's biggest marketplaces.

(source: mikeschinkel.com)

topic(s) covered: General WordPress overview, theme customization and development

user level targeted: adv. beginner/intermediate

form: Paperback, MOBI, PDF, EPUB

pricing: $40USD, $30USD Digital Bundle

Table of contents, request sample.

link to home site: http://www.sitepoint.com/books/wordpress1/

No affiliation, just a happy purchaser


WordPress User Guide

By David Coveney, director of InterconnectIT.

Our WordPress User Guide takes you through the process of setting up a WordPress blog, entering and editing content, managing comments, building menus and so much more.

Book was written as training manual for novice users and covers how to operate WordPress-based site. Note that installation and configuration are not covered.

Available as:

  • free PDF download (for personal use and distribution in free educational establishments)
  • high resolution PDF download, £4 incl VAT (Appx $6)
  • paid .docx download customizable and rebrandable at price of £75 incl VAT (Appx $120 US)



WordPress Bible

by Aaron Brazell

You'll start with the basics of WordPress, such as the principles of blogging and social media interaction. Then the pace ramps up to more intermediate-to-advanced topics including plugins, WordPress Loop, themes and templates, custom fields, caching, security, and more.

Large comprehensive reference.

Available as:

  • paper, $31
  • Kindle, $30
  • preorder 2nd edition, $32



WordPress Plugin Development – Beginner’s Guide

By Vladimir Prelovac, professional WordPress developer.

The book consists of 8 chapters, six of which are dealing with development of actual plugins from scratch [...] Introductory chapter explains why engage in WordPress plugin development and shows the best tools for the job. Final chapter deals with plugin localization, promotion, providing support and few other handy tips.

Book that focuses on WordPress plugin development for programmers.

Available as:

  • paper, ~$30-35 via Amazon
  • paper+ebook, ~$40 via packt

Table of contents, sample chapter (PDF).



Professional WordPress

Design and Development

enter image description here

Hal Stern (Author)
David Damstra (Author)
Brad Williams (Author)
Mike Little (Technical Editor)

An in-depth look at the internals of the WordPress system. As the most popular blogging and content management platform available today, WordPress is a powerful tool. This exciting book goes beyond the basics and delves into the heart of the WordPress system, offering overviews of the functional aspects of WordPress as well as plug-in and theme development.

Wrox paper $45
Amazon ~$30
Kindle ~$27

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