While I was in St. Louis for php[tek], php[architect] announced the release of their latest book, Building Exceptional Sites with WordPress & Thesis by Peter MacIntyre. php[architect]’s Editor-in-Chief, Oscar Merida, asked if I’d be willing to read through the new book and offer my thoughts, and I quickly accepted; not only have I been looking forward to meeting Peter in-person (he’s one of the organizers of Northeast PHP, where I’ll be speaking in early August), but the book’s forward was written by my close friend and mentor, Eric Mann.
First of all, I’m certainly not the book’s primary audience: Building Exceptional Sites with WordPress & Thesis is written for the hobbyist, marketer, or small-business owner looking to dive into the world of WordPress. That being said, this is an exceptional resource for those looking to get up and running with a WordPress blog, marketing site, or simple eCommerce shop without having to fully comprehend the technical requirements. Peter puts forth a very user-friendly “if you want to be able to do X, then do this” approach, with good resources for readers who want to dig in deeper.
The plugin recommendations towards the end felt somewhat arbitrary (especially given the fact that Thesis requires a $49 plugin to be at all compatible with WooCommerce), but I can see the immense value of that portion for the “I’ve never touched a WordPress site before in my life” audience. The next steps at the end, however, were greatly appreciated: help introduce these would-be developers into the larger community, showing them where to get help and good resources for learning more.
Ultimately, this book is well worth a few dollars and an afternoon to read for anyone even considering venturing into building a WordPress site using Thesis. McIntyre’s reputation as a teacher and cornerstone of the community precedes him, and I’m proud to see someone so involved with the professional growth of others pairing up with one of my favorite programming-centric publishers.