15 WordPress Books To Read in 2023

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Antonella Gina Fleitas
Antonella Gina Fleitas

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With more than 500 sites created daily, WordPress is an easy choice for anyone who is looking for an affordable and easy option to build a website. With its templates and SEO optimization options, WordPress can be a great tool for any business. However, as with any other tool, properly learning WordPress takes time and resources.

person reading a wordpress book on a tablet

So no matter your level of expertise, there is always room to learn more. That's why we've compiled a list of books that can help you learn the ins and outs of WordPress. See our 15 favorites below.

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What is WordPress?

WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. The platform was launched in 2003. Nine years later, WordPress has become the most used content management system in the world with 59% of CMS market share.

WordPress has consistently stayed a popular CMS option and has launched several new features since its inception. Now, over 100 million websites use WordPress as their platform.

Some main WordPress features include:

  • A simple drag-and-drop interface.
  • "Themes" that let you customize how your site looks without having to write any code yourself.
  • Plugins that bring additional functionalities to your website.
  • Easy ways to add images, videos, and other media files to your site.

If you’re creating a website, you should explore WordPress along with your other options. If you’ve already decided to use the platform, it’s time to start learning.

Here are some of the best books on WordPress that will help you learn everything you need to know about this powerful platform.

15 WordPress Books Every User Needs to Read

1. WordPress For Dummies by Lisa Sabin-Wilson

wordpress books, Wordpress for Dummies

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“WordPress for Dummies” is an excellent beginner's guide to the WordPress world. This book covers everything from setting up your first site to creating a blog that attracts readers. Sabin-Wilson also shares how your site can one day lead to steady income.

The book is structured to be very clear and easy to follow. If you’re a visual learner, no worries. There are plenty of visual resources like screenshots to help you understand exactly what the author is describing.

Best for: Beginners who want to build a strong general knowledge of what WordPress is and what it can do. If you are a business owner or a graphic designer with little to no technical skills, then WordPress for Dummies is worth a read.

2. WordPress Explained: Your Step-by-Step Guide to WordPress by Stephen Burge

Wordpress books, wordpress explained

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Stephen Burge presents a highly-detailed case study that gives users all the tools they need to understand WordPress from top to bottom. He uses different tested resources like visual elements and analogies to explain each topic.

In this book, you’ll learn how to:

  • Create an easy-to-use website using WordPress.
  • Manage content from your dashboard without struggling.
  • Add features and tools to your website.
  • Run a scalable website that is both efficient and secure.

Best for: Anyone who wants to build quality sites that are not only technically correct but also valuable business tools.

3. WordPress All-in-One For Dummies by Lisa Sabin-Wilson

best wordpress books: WordPress All-in-One For Dummies

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“WordPress All-in-One for Dummies” is a great resource for anyone who's new to WordPress and wants to understand more about how the platform works, especially as a blog creation tool. This book is very easy to read and covers everything, including:

  • Basic installation and setup.
  • Creating themes and plugins
  • Finding your hosting platform and registering a domain.
  • Using third-party applications to make the most out of your site

Best for: Those looking for a comprehensive guide to WordPress. This book is also a great option for those with some WordPress knowledge in search of a refresher.

4. WordPress in Easy Steps by Paul McFedries

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“WordPress in Easy Steps” is a book for users who are already familiar with basic WordPress settings but want to make the most out of its plugins. The book covers everything from installing plugins to setting them up on your site.

Best for: Those who have already created a site but want to explore additional functionalities through plugins.

5. WordPress To Go by Sarah McHarry

wordpress books, WordPress To Go

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Sarah McHarry talks directly to internet entrepreneurs who are building their paths toward a successful career. In this book, she emphasizes the importance that a quality website when it comes to running a business. McHarry also shares all the information that you need to launch a WordPress site and manage your content.

Some topics that you’ll learn in “WordPress To Go” include:

  • Finding your hosting solution and registering a domain.
  • Creating your website.
  • Installing themes.
  • Uploading posts and incorporating visual resources.

Best for: Entrepreneurs looking to build efficient websites without investing a lot of money. However, if you already have some WordPress knowledge, other options might be better for you.

6. WordPress: Pushing the Limits by Rachel McCollin

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“WordPress: Pushing the Limits” is perfect for knowledgeable users who want to take their WordPress skills to the next level. This guide isn’t tailored for beginners. Instead, professionals share details about their own experience using the platform, while also providing actionable steps for users to grow WordPress skills.

When reading this book, you’ll learn:

  • The different aspects of using WordPress to create websites for different clients.
  • What makes great websites and how WordPress can help you get there.
  • The different developing environments and how to navigate them efficiently.
  • How to use HTML, PHP, Javascript, and CSS to customize your different projects.

Best for: Designers who want to build a WordPress design business or entrepreneurs w looking to scale their sites.

7. WordPress: The Missing Manual: The Book That Should Have Been in the Box by Matthew MacDonald

WordPress: The Missing Manual: The Book That Should Have Been in the Box (3rd edition)

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“WordPress: The Missing Manual” teaches WordPress as not only a website design tool but also as a valuable content platform that can help businesses grow. This book shares all of the ways you can build an engaged community with your WordPress site.

You’ll also learn about SEO as a resource and cybersecurity concepts that will help you keep your website safe.

Best for: Business owners to build a website. This book is not meant for beginners. If you are not familiar with learning technical topics, you might be overwhelmed.

8. WordPress 5 Complete: Build beautiful and feature-rich websites from scratch by Krol Król

wordpress books, WordPress 5 Complete: Build beautiful and feature-rich websites from scratch, 7th Edition

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Krol Król’s “WordPress 5 Complete” presents a group of actionable steps that developers with no WordPress experience can easily follow. If you know the basics already, you can explore advanced features that require a strong coding background.

This book covers:

  • Using the block editor to create good-looking pages
  • Optimizing your content for the web environment
  • Building a page structure that is user-friendly
  • Installing and setting up different plugins based on each website’s needs
  • Building WordPress plugins and themes

Best for: PHP developers who are thinking about using WordPress as a design tool.

9. Master WordPress Like A Boss: A Step-by-Step Guide to Install WordPress Locally and on a Web Host by Dennis Lonmo

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This book is the first of the “Master WordPress Like A Boss” series created by Dennis Lonmo. Here you’ll find a comprehensive guide that aims to help any user, from those with no coding knowledge to those who have some coding background, install WordPress both locally or using a website host.

Best for: Those who want a detailed guide that can help you install WordPress. However, if you are trying to gain a broad knowledge of all the different WordPress topics, then you will need to read through the whole book series.

10. Master WordPress Like A Boss: A Beginner’s Guide to Planning, Designing, and Creating Your Very Own Unique WordPress Website by Dennis Lonmo

​​Master WordPress Like a Boss

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In this final book of the “Master WordPress Like A Boss” series, Dennis Lonmo shares a well-curated guide that will help users start planning and building their own websites. Based on the strong technical knowledge provided by the previous books, this last resource shows how readers can put the skills they’ve learned into action. Here you’ll learn how to plan and build efficient websites.

Best for: Those who want to put technical skills into practice. If you are trying to gain a broad knowledge of all the different WordPress topics, then you will need to read through the whole book series.

11. Professional WordPress: Design and Development by Brad Williams, David Damstra, and Hal Stern

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“Professional WordPress: Design and Development” offers the best combination of development and design knowledge. With specific chapters and downloadable coding resources, this book is great for both developers with a design background and designers with a development background.

Best for: Those with ambitious design goals and a strong web-development background.

12. Building Web Apps with WordPress: WordPress as an Application Framework by Brian Messenlehner

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Yes, WordPress is an awesome blog platform, but its potential doesn’t stop there. This CMS also offers a ton of advanced features. In “Building Web Apps with WordPress” by Brian Messenlehner, you’ll find all the information that you need to take your website development knowledge and make the most out of WordPress tools.

In this book, you’ll learn:

  • The difference between WordPress and other website app development tools.
  • How to use themes to manage your app view.
  • How to use plugins to power the backend of your app.

Best for: Knowledgeable users with a strong development background.

13. WordPress Websites For Business: How Anyone Can Maximize Website Performance and Results by Michael Cordova

WordPress Websites For Business

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Business owners and web developers have different skills, goals, and backgrounds. Michael Cordova takes these differences into consideration.

“WordPress Websites for Business” is a guide tailored to business owners or employers who need to create a website but have no idea where to start.

In this book, you’ll learn:

  • The best WordPress themes for businesses.
  • Content creation techniques to streamline this process.
  • WordPress and some of its best practices.
  • Plugins that can help you improve your sales game and get leads.

Best for: Business owners and employers looking for a friendly way to approach the WordPress website creation process.

14. Teach Yourself VISUALLY WordPress by George Plumley

wordpress books, teach yourself visually

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If you are a visual learner, then this WordPress guide will be the best starting point for you. Especially suitable for beginners, “Teach Yourself VISUALLY WordPress” includes a huge number of visual resources like screenshots and video guides. Plumley uses his own site as a teaching resource to walk users through the development process.

Best for: Visual learners who are looking for a straight-to-the-point WordPress teaching resource.

15. Mastering WooCommerce 4: Build complete e-commerce websites with WordPress and WooCommerce from scratch by Patrick Rauland

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“Mastering WooCommerce 4” is a guide made especially for entrepreneurs or website designers who want to focus on online store creation. Assuming that readers have some kind of WordPress knowledge already, this book provides a helpful guide to both creating and managing an online store.

In this book, you’ll learn:

  • What is WooCommerce and how to install it on your WordPress website
  • How to manage your ecommerce dashboard
  • Efficient ways to receive payments and orders
  • SEO strategies to promote your online store

Best for: Readers who already have some WordPress knowledge but want to focus on ecommerce. If you are a complete beginner, start with a broader guide instead.

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