Review: Professional WordPress Design and Development, 2nd Edition

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Professional WordPress Design and Development 2nd Edition

Let’s start this review with an honest admission.

While in the 90s I collected (and read, mostly) tech books like they were going out of style. These days I barely get my hands around a book, let alone consume it.

Frankly, I don’t have the time. I have three kids (two are twins) and a wife. I have a mortgage. I co-organize WordPress meetups, and head up a WordCamp committee. That’s not including the remaining bits of time i form together to approximate a “life”.

But what’s the point of this admission? To prove to you that I only have time to devote to reading books that meet a certain level of quality and useful content – not to mention only those that age well. And I am confident in saying that Professional WordPress Design And Development is one of those books.

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Book Review: WordPress & Ajax

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You might remember Ronald Huereca as our WordCamp Austin ticket “winner”. I had the pleasure of talking with him at the event and quickly realized he knows his stuff, so much so that he was a presenter at WordCamp Philly last year. It is a good thing then that he has put some of his knowledge down on virtual paper.

WordPress & Ajax” is not a book for the casual WordPress user. It is an informative read on using the power of Ajax to make websites more dynamic and user friendly so a working knowledge of PHP and jQuery is needed to follow along. The book would probably most benefit WordPress developers who have an idea what Ajax can do, but not how to implement it in their own work.

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Book review: WordPress Top Plugins

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I have spent the last several days reviewing WordPress Top Plugins by Brandon Corbin and all I can say is WOW – why didn’t I know this was available!

This valuable book provides an overview of some of the best WP plugins you could ever use including WP-DBManager, BuddyPress, WPTouch, NextGen Gallery, and more.  Brandon methodically lays out a road map on understanding how to install plugins, how they work, and managing them.

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Review: Shelf Theme from The Theme Foundry

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The Theme Foundry’s latest tumblog theme, Shelf, was designed by Jon Hicks and sports a photo-real, 3D design. Attempted by the wrong people, the words “photo-real” and “3D” used together when describing a website design could lead to disaster. In this case, the end result is very pleasant and just works.

But a quality theme is more than just looks. It’s about how it functions, how easy it is to use, and what purpose it can have for the blogger. In other words: is Shelf worth taking off the shelf and putting to use?

Let’s dig in and find out.

Shelf Theme review gallery

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Review: Headway 2.0, the only WordPress theme I’ll ever need

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Earlier this year when I first encountered Headway, I was so impressed by it that it became the first WordPress theme I ever bought. Needless to say, I’ve been looking forward to the release of version 2.0 all year and now it’s finally here.

Before reviewing it, I assumed that I’d find one or two features to be particularly happy about, but that I’d remain mostly indifferent towards the update. After having used Headway, Genesis and Platform Pro, I adopted the belief that there was no such thing as the “best” premium WordPress theme. Jumping from one to the other was a lateral move. They were all of the highest quality and they all attempted to solve the same problems, the only difference was their preferred method of solving them.

Using Headway today has started to erode that belief. Headway 2.0 completely exceeded my expectations. Not only was I reminded of why I bought Headway in the first place, I ended up wondering how I had been able to tolerate versions 1.5 and 1.6 all these months.

Here are some of the most notable features.

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