Syd Wachs - Books

January is a perfect month to get off to a good start for New Year’s resolutions. It’s the ideal time to pursue new challenges that make us improve from many points of view. Signing up at the gym, quitting smoking or spending more time with family and friends are classics these days. But if your goal is to improve your WordPress level, let me say you are in the perfect place for it.

In this post I’m going to propose 12 books to turn you into a WordPress Jedi. With them you will not only improve the knowledge needed to master WordPress, but also you can achieve the purpose of reading more during the new year. Two in a row! ?

12 Books for 2017

Here you’ll find the list. I hope you find it right and enjoy the proposed readings. You have plenty of options at your disposal! ?

WordPress for Dummies

WordPress for Dummies.
WordPress for Dummies.

Lisa Sabin-Wilson

If you are looking for a WordPress user manual, this is your book. Beyond the joke with the title, this book is a great introduction to start mastering WordPress.

You will learn how to install WordPress and browse the dashboard, and you’ll discover the fantastic world of plugins. That is, you’ll learn everything you need to get around WordPress without stumbling.

Professional WordPress: Design and Development

Professional WordPress: Design and Development
Professional WordPress: Design and Development.

Brad Williams, David Damstra and Hal Stern

Fully updated to align with WordPress 4.1, this book helps you use WordPress efficiently, effectively, and professionally. Although at the moment of writing this post we are already in version 4.7 of WordPress, I consider this book a very interesting resource.

Here you will find examples, code fragments, and tips that offer solutions to the current needs of developers. It is aimed at all types of developers—from those who seek to customize a WordPress theme to advanced programmers.

Professional WordPress Plugin Development

Professional WordPress Plugin Development
Professional WordPress Plugin Development.

Brad Williams, Ozh Richard and Justin Tadlock

If you are looking for a book that teaches you how to develop plugins for WordPress, surely this is the one you have to read (but don’t forget you will always find the most updated documentation in the Plugin Handbook). Step by step, it covers the basics of each of the APIs that WordPress provides to work with Transients, Options or Settings, just to mention a few.

The book also explains the detail of the hooks in WordPress—perhaps the most complicated aspect to understand for beginners who want to start building their projects.

Web Designer’s Guide to WordPress: Plan, Theme, Build, Launch

Web Designer's Guide to WordPress: Plan, Theme, Build, Launch
Web Designer’s Guide to WordPress: Plan, Theme, Build, Launch.

Jesse Friedman

Most professionals who start to work on WordPress are focused on website creation. And surely the most common task is the creation or modification of WordPress themes.

In this book you will find all the concepts related to the development themes, including templates, widgets, and shortcodes.

Undoubtedly, a great alternative to the official guide you can find in the Codex.

WordPress. 1001 Trucos

WordPress.1001 trucos
WordPress.1001 trucos.

Fernando Tellado

In this book you will find 1001 quick tricks for maximum performance, plus various time-saving shortcuts and codes that will enhance your website. I know, the book is written in Spanish, but the content is easy to understand by foreigners.

And the title does not cheat, you will have exactly 1001 completely numbered tricks classified into categories such as installation, configuration, security, SEO, and so on!


JavaScript: The Definitive Guide

JavaScript: The Definitive Guide
JavaScript: The Definitive Guide.

David Flanagan

If you are aware of the news in the WordPress world, you will know that JavaScript plays relevant role in this content management system.

With the introduction of the REST API, WordPress opens a new world of possibilities for plugin developers and theme designers. And if you don’t feel comfortable with JavaScript you should start getting into it right now.

This book is like the JavaScript bible. By the way, I recommend you read it following the instructions of Remkus de Vries—in just 8 weeks you will become a master ?

React: Up & Running

React Up & Running
React Up & Running.

Stoyan Stefanov

Another prominent technology in the future of WordPress is ReactJS. I honestly think that WordPress developers will soon build user interfaces and themes with this JavaScript library along with the REST API.But don’t take my word for it—Calypso is not just another test example, but a reality. It was entirely made with Node and ReactJS. Pure JavaScript magic.

Although ReactJS is probably a technology that evolves faster than the book I leave here, it never hurts to have a resource that includes all the important points. If you combine it with online courses (you will find a lot with a simple search), this book is a must ?

So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide to Successful Online Writing

So You Think You Can Write?
So You Think You Can Write?

Julia McCoy

For all who write with WordPress, this book will help you learn what it takes to write quality content for the web.

Starting from the basics, you’ll learn how to write for search engines and people, discover the different types of content you can create on the web, and much more. Although it may seem easy, writing content that people want to read is really hard work. Luckily, books like this help a lot, specially to new bloggers with little experience.

Epic Content Marketing

Epic Content Marketing
Epic Content Marketing.

Joe Pulizzi

This book will help you to develop strategies that take into account your competitive advantages by creating messages and stories aimed for better distribution on social networks, Google, and other media. If you have a website where you sell something, do not hesitate to take a look at this book. It provides a step-by-step plan for generating powerful content that appeals to your customers. Also, it describes best practices for promoting that content.

In short, this is a very complete book on content marketing. You can use it to complete the series of posts that Ruth made some time ago about Nelio Content.

All Marketers Are Liars

All Marketers are Liars
All Marketers are Liars.

Seth Godin

Marketing in WordPress is a key factor. I can confirm that to you, based on my experience in Nelio thinking about the strategies we can carry out to sell more and better.

Through many real-life examples, the book explains the tricks marketers use to increase sales. That’s the reason why I have included this book of Seth Godin in the list. It mainly focuses on how marketers tell stories and how you can try them in your own scenarios to improve your clients’ trust in you. Besides, is really fun to read ?

The Design of Everyday Things

The Design of Everyday Things
The Design of Everyday Things.

Don Norman

Even the smartest among us can feel inept as we fail to figure out which light switch or oven burner to turn on, or whether to push, pull, or slide a door. This book is recommended to designers who develop products or user interfaces on a daily basis. They will benefit from the examples and concrete explanations included in this text, as my teammate David did.

It shows that good, usable design is possible. The rules are simple: make things visible, exploit natural relationships that couple function and control, and make intelligent use of constraints. The goal: guide the user effortlessly to the right action on the right control at the right time ?

The Power of No

The Power of No
The Power of No.

James Altucher and Claudia Azula Altucher

How many times have you heard yourself saying yes to the wrong things? Being a WordPress consultant, dealing with customers may be a hard job. Specially with those customers that you’d rather not work with.

This lively, practical guide helps you take back that power—and shows that a well-placed “No” can not only save you time and trouble, but it can also save your life. You have the right to say no to anything that is hurting you, and this books demonstrates this. Hopefully you’ll read it and learn that the easy (not the hard) way ?

Final Remarks

If you prefer to wait for the movie to be released instead of reading the book first, that’s fine. Remember you can always visit WordPress TV, where you’ll find lots of videos of presentations in WordCamps, meetups, and other events related to WordPress—just look for the topic you are interested in and I’m sure you’ll find interesting videos.

Also, if you are a developer, don’t forget to complete your training by visiting the WordPress Codex. And join the WordPress community in Slack too! These two additional resources will serve you well in your goals.

Finally, if you think that I have forgotten a book or would like to propose other resources, leave us a comment expressing your wishes or opinions ?

Featured image by Syd Wachs.

3 responses to “12 Books to Master WordPress and Improve Yourself in 2017”

  1. Catherine Puspita Avatar

    Thanks for suggesting the top most wordpress books. All of these are very helpful.

    1. Antonio Villegas Avatar

      Thanks for the comment, Catherine.

  2. Collins Agbonghama Avatar

    Great resource to learn WordPress. Thanks for sharing Antonio

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