We’re Giving Away Two Free Copies Of The ‘WordPress 3 Cookbook’

Win a free copy of WordPress 3 Cookbook from Packt PublishingHot off the press: We’ve found a new piece of WordPress literature that you guys might be interested in.

It’s called WordPress 3 Cookbook, with the tagline “Over 100 recipes to help enhance your WordPress site!”. You can get it in both eBook ($20.39) and paperback ($35.99).

The book is written by Ric Shreves and Jean Baptiste-Jung, and released by Packt Publishing (the same crew behind ‘WordPress 3 For Business Bloggers’, which we reviewed a few weeks ago).

About the book

WordPress 3 Cookbook is more of a ‘pick up, put down’ reference manual, rather than something you would read cover-to-cover in consecutive order. The content of the book is presented in nine chapters, as follows:

  1. The WordPress Cook’s Tools
  2. Installing and Customizing Themes
  3. Working with Plugins and Widgets
  4. Customizing Content Display
  5. Building Interactivity and Community
  6. Implementing Online Sales and Advertising
  7. Making an SEO Friendly Site
  8. Enhancing Usability and Accessibility
  9. Managing Maintenance and Improving Security

As you can see, that’s a very broad range of material, so don’t expect a huge amount of detail on any single topic. Nonetheless, the content is laid out in a clear and easily-readable manner, with lots of visual aids and practical tasks to keep the reader engaged.

The whole thing is compiled in a kind of question and answer format. Each chapter contains several ‘WordPress recipes’, (because it’s a cookbook – get it?), and each recipe seeks to address a commonly asked question about using WordPress.

For example, in Chapter 4: Customizing Content Display, you’ll find WordPress recipes such as ‘Using multiple loops’ and ‘Save time by using WordPress shortcodes’.

We would say this book is aimed at a ‘lower intermediate’ audience. If you’re a total WP greenhorn, this probably isn’t the first book you should read.

If you’ve already got a grasp on the fundamentals of WordPress and some basic coding skills, this is definitely a book you should consider adding to your collection.


Win a free copy of the new book WordPress 3 CookbookWe’ve got two copies of the eBook up for grabs, courtesy of Packt Publishing. If you’d like to get your hands on one, leave a comment below this article and answer the following question:

If you could learn one new WordPress skill this year, what would it be?

Please be as specific as possible. Tell us about something you wish you could do with WordPress, but don’t yet have the technical knowledge to pull off.

We’ll pick the two most interesting responses next week, and the authors will each receive a free copy of the WordPress 3 Cookbook. Get to it!

71 Responses

  • I’d like an easy PHP playground plugin to tweak any installed template without having to know any PHP.

    1. On the fly add or remove php shortcodes
    2. template/visual php viewer
    3. drap and drop php elements to adjust templates

  • I would like to be able to copy instances under a multi-site installation and automate the creation of additional sites using the copy as a template. in other words, quickly create several sites under a MU implementation using one site and cloning it.

  • I would like to make WordPress (even more) user-friendly for independent and free-lance journalists in order to empower free speech around the globe, maybe re-doing the Dashboard with a more simple and social-media oriented.

  • I would like to learn more about adding custom options/settings to themes. Have built themes before, but have not given the user options like background image, color scheme, etc.

  • New Recruit

    I really need to get a better handle on manipulating the admin area, both in terms of styles and available options for multisite users. I’m building a site that in part will be used as a Google Docs, Yarny-type content creator (ala the article posted here a few months ago), but that then builds into a larger workflow of sharing and commenting. Controlling the content creation part of the process and making it as awesome and user-friendly for customers is key. Also, I need to be able to make these changes in such a way that they can persist even with WordPress updates and such.

  • I would like to focus on the nitty gritty of creating and displaying custom posts to help extend our WordPress sites here at NASA into customized content databases.

  • New Recruit

    It’s all about the client for me. I’m always looking for new ways to make WordPress sites easier to manage for clients who don’t always have a technical background. I use a lot of tips/tricks/best practices already but I think there are still some things that could be made a little simpler. I plan to really dive into custom plugins for enhanced UI tweaking… and things like really hardcore customization of the WYSIWYG editor to really make editing as simple as possible.

  • I’d like to be able to build a custom admin back-end for my clients…giving them exactly the experience they need, without offering choices for them to break my sites! =)

  • I’d like to learn how to implement both a public and ‘private’ image database within a WordPress site.

  • Definitely need to grasp custom posts better so I can create custom entries to make it easier for the animal rescue groups that I create WordPress sites for to enter their available animals. Just letting them make regular posts and assign categories to them is not good enough if you want all listings to look similar and have the same content about each animal.

  • I would like to have better technical knowledge on how to better utilize the coding to customize themes that already have been developed, also be able to fix any glitches within the framework.

  • I would like to learn how to add custom taxonomy post, from the front end. For example, add a new event.

  • Really tough to narrow it down to one. If I dont learn about 100 better ways this year I’m in trouble. Fighting much in the code already. I need to learn how to change the size of images in my header correctly the most currently.

  • If you could learn one new WordPress skill this year, what would it be? I would love to learn how to create my own customizable themes so I could resell them.

  • We would love to learn how to build the most streamline, code efficient, speedy load time wordpress themes possible…or modifying existing themes to be lightning fast. This has to do with figuring out what code/imagery makes certain things slow, what scripts, what plugins, etc may be bogging down the server on each load.

    Since mobile is becoming so popular (almost a standard), there should be a lot of emphasis on load speed (from our humble opinions). This is especially true for those sites that don’t want to sacrifice screen real estate (not wanting to build a mobile version of their site)…this way their visitors won’t run for the door because their seedy new site takes only seconds to load, even on their mobile.

    Our thoughts anyway! ;)

  • I want to write a plugin to pay affiliate bloggers on multisite or allow them to control their own paid blogs and pay a fee based on what they make.

  • I want to learn how to customize WordPress to make it easier for my clients to easily manage and update their own site. I’ve recently run into several situations where a client requires a fairly complex initial setup for something they want, but that makes it just as complex to update going forward.

    Could be just as simple as a specific format for each page/post under a particular category, but there are lots of other situations too.

    Always looking to learn more.

  • This book looks like the perfect thing for people, who like me, prefer looking up information in a book, rather than reading the WP Codex. A “‘pick up, put down’ reference manual” is exactly what we need. The one new skill I would like to learn is how to put a WordPress site in the cloud. From putting just the database in the cloud, to putting the database and running the core code in the cloud. As more industrial strength websites are built with WordPress, I think this skill will be much needed.

  • New Recruit

    Installing better search options it at the top of my list. Including setting ways to search by specific types of information. And how to use to custom post types more effectively to better organize and present the barrage of content on the web. Finally, I want to find a good way to display a membership directory from the WP users db.

  • I support the website for a small private school, and soon I will be providing training to the teachers and staff. I would like to learn how to customize the WordPress control panel to make it less confusing for non-techies. I know I can do this, for the most part, by assigning roles (e.g. Editor, Author, etc.) but I would like to learn how to customize this. For example, for some users, I may want an Editor to have some admin privileges, while still keeping the control panel as clean and uncomplicated as possible.

  • Seriously, most things. I’ve made great strides with my knowledge and skills in the past year, but there’s always room for improvement.
    If I had to single out one thing it’d be custom post types.

  • I would like to properly set up a wordpress/buddypress/multisite configuration to operate similar to facebook, offering the same core features.

  • Would like to set up a wordpress blog to operate as a newspaper as well. something that could be put into a print version style paper with similar “sections”

  • My goal for this year is to learn more about creating WP plugins. Definitely need to getter a better handle on that stuff. Thanks for the chance of winning the awesome book

  • I’d like to create a website for my daughter, that the rest of our family can contribute to. I need to learn how to implement a “loose” password so that all they need to do is answer a simple question about our family, one only we would know, and they can access all the content and post whatever they like. My family isn’t good with usernames and passwords, so the standard members stuff won’t cut it. I’ll also need to integrate google maps api, for which I plan to finally build my own plugin. Learning curves ahoy!

  • I would like to know more about coding, so I could change the background colors and images. The size and color of the header. The width of columns. In other words be able to change things around to the way I like them.

  • The one thing I really want to master is Custom Post Types/Taxonomies.

    I seem to get it, get it working, then the next time, I seem to be havign to get it all over again.

    I know this is something which, at some point, I’m just going to be saying “Blimey, that was easy”. I just want to get to that point.

  • I hope want to gain a better understanding of how PHP and WordPress work together. So many times, I’ve heard of how certain plugins are breaking websites and I would like to know my way around to be able to anticipate and potentially fix those pitfalls.

  • I want to figure out how to find the perfect wp webmaster who knows all of this so I don’t have to read any books.

    Happy Mardi Gras 2012

  • I want to know how to find the perfect wordpress webmaster who knows all of this so I don’t have to read any damn books.

    Happy Mardi Gras 2012

  • I’m looking to run my consulting business using WordPress MU as a CMS. From lead generation, taking customer input, generating bids, tracking the jobs, generating invoices, processing payment on the back end, to building and deploying sites for clients, as the MU super admin.

  • New Recruit

    I guess for me this year I would like to figure out how to understand the formula for knowing the “keywords”. The reason for this is to achieve the goal of getting my site’s known out in the community to bring in the traffic.

    I am knew at this, as you can most likely tell. My wife and I have lived out of the country in Mexico and so all of this is new to me (WP, Texting, Smart Phones, you name it).

    So, yes, I would love to qualify for a free copy of your WP 3 Cookbook. It sounds like it would be a very nice tool to have for reference.



  • New Recruit

    In the coming year I need to learn how to create a calendar that is customizable so that certain events events can be viewed by users based upon their membership level. I am building a community website and have a lot, lot, lot to learn, but this would be my top priority. Sounds like this book is at the right level for me :)

  • I think I would like to see more examples on customizing the loop as well as displaying those customized loops on custom pages…

  • I want to be able to WordPress powered site providing content to many users. In this site, there will be a directory for businesses and several blogs for information on the latest news, entertainment and travel.

    Be able to create a site like with probably need a lot of coding. This is what I wish to know.

  • If I could learn one WordPress skill it would be how to extend it’s power and incorporate it with a secure database so I could build my dream.

    I am currently in the baby stages of starting my own non-profit called Kidney Wishes. At this point it’s limited to a Facebook page, but it’s growing quickly. It is a community with something for everyone that is part of the kidney transplant community. Kidney Wishes advocates for living donors and encourages organ donation. We also help educate those that would like more information about kidney donation or are thinking about being donors. We celebrate the gift of life that was given to the recipients, and help connect those in need of kidney transplants with their heroes, their donors.

    While most transplant sites/communities keep the donors and recipients or those in need separated, Kidney Wishes has broken down those walls of segregation and encouraged contact.

    I dream of creating a social network devoted to this community as well as a database of potential donors and recipients. A place full of love, support, and most importantly HOPE. A place with information for the parents of children born with End Stage Renal Failure who struggle to find information.

    This is something desperately needed. Currently there are over 113,000 people on the National Transplant List. They add an average of 130 more each day. Of those people only 75 get transplants a day, and 19 die while waiting for the call that will save their lives.

    With the decrease in people registering to become organ donors when they pass (angel donors as we call them) and the few people willing to be a living donor the problem is only going to get worse. So my dream is to support them, help them, offer them each the hope they need to hang on, and do my best to connect them to a hero that will donate a kidney and give the gift of life to a stranger. I do this knowing many will not survive the wait, that nearly 7,000 will die each year, but I do it because someone needs to offer them hope, love, and support.

    I am currently working with over 300 parents of children as well as 200 adults who all need transplants.

    • Marina, this sounds great. There is a nonprofit that has an amazing technical solution to hook up those in need of kidneys. See http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/health/lives-forever-linked-through-kidney-transplant-chain-124.html?emc=etal

      What is vitally needed is to advocate for folks from under-reached groups that need kidneys. I’m sure the above folks would know this. Together we can work cooperatively & most efficiently to help tons more folks. Best wishes, keep up the great work.

      • New Recruit

        Thank you Dawn! I love that story about the kidney chain 124 :D I heard that it’s going to be in the guinness book of world records. I would love to see people competing to see who can start the longest NEAD chain!

        I am doing what I can to advocate for them and raise awareness. In fact I just set up the family of a 16 month old with a radio spot and benefit concert. His story touched those involved so much that the band, dj, and promoter are going to be “his” for the rest of 2012 :D That should bring some awareness to what’s going on. That was one of the highlights of my week. My low point was when one of my Kidney Kids, who is 3 yrs, was taken off the transplant list. He’s too sick at this point to get a transplant.

        You are more than welcome to stop by my Facebook page and check things out if you would like. You can find it at http://www.facebook.com/kidneywishes

  • I’d like to learn how to implement a safer, inexpensive way to accept donations and sell items. For smaller groups that don’t/can’t get a merchant account, and who’d like something easier for non-tech users to successfully use than PayPal (hard to sell a t-shirt or some simple item, PayPal tries to fool folks into signing up for PayPal & they give up). I’ve gone to many WordPress meetups and folks still say they are all either too easily hack-able (WP E-commerce) or they are expensive for a youth or Occupy group (Shopp). I just heard of and need to try FoxyCart. (hint for an article!).
    p.s. Marina Gallagher- check out this brilliant use of software to match up kidney donors in the past Sunday’s New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/health/lives-forever-linked-through-kidney-transplant-chain-124.html?emc=etal

  • Our website is built on wordpress and is customized on the back-end to the max! We have built in a Loyalty points system with a virtual Loyalty Shop to reward registered members for clicking on posts, entering competitions, sharing with friends, basically any and every interaction. very clver but now we need to learn how to integrate the loyalty system with Twitter and FB login options without members loosing any points. As we say in South Africa – Eish!

Comments are closed.