A few months ago (yeah, that long) I was asked by Packt Publishing if I would like to review a copy of WordPress Plugin Development: Beginner's Guide by Vladimir Prelovac. Needless to say, I thought this could be fun and interesting, so I jumped on the occasion, and finally found some time to read the book and share my thoughts about it.
In a word
My conclusion first, for those in a rush: it is a great book. It's really rich. For people knowing the basics of PHP and willing to give WordPress plugins a first shot, it should be a fantastic read. I wished I could have read something like this five years ago when I began coding plugins for WordPress :)
What's cool about the book
Of course, despite its 300 pages, the book won't make you the definitive expert on each and every of these topics, but serves as an eye opener: it will provide the "owwww you can do this??" experience most beginner coders don't know about, show how easy it is, and then gives suggestion to enhance or improve the give examples.
The book's tag line is: "Learn by doing: less theory, more results". And that's no lie: each topic has a "Time for action" paragraph with actual code, explanations and references, then opens up to a "Have a go Hero" section where the reader will find suggestions for exercises and improvements.
While the core topic of the book is plugin development and code, Vladimir also gives in his book excellent advices about the befores and the afters of the coding job. The book explains what WordPress and plugins are good for, how to promote your new plugin, the basics with SVN management, or offering support for your code.
What I would have loved
The only small gripe I have with this book is typographic (so I don't think the author is to blame here, actually). I thought the headings were too similar, so I wasn't very sure where new section or subsections would start and end, although that's not a big deal really. But it would be seriously cool to have colored, highlighted code. That would be so much more readable, or maybe I'm just too used to reading code in an editor that can highlight it :) Also, reading "plug-in" instead of "plugin" did hurt my eyes a bit ;)
Do I recommend the book to someone who wants to step into the wonders of plugin development? Totally. Go buy it. It's not even an affiliate link, I write this because I believe it :)
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