Professional WordPress: Design and Development

Professional WordPress: Design and Development
By Brad Williams, David Damstra, Hal Stern

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Product Description

The highest rated WordPress development and design book on the market is back with an all new third edition.

Professional WordPress is the only WordPress book targeted to developers, with advanced content that exploits the full functionality of the most popular CMS in the world. Fully updated to align with WordPress 4.1, this edition has updated examples with all new screenshots, and full exploration of additional tasks made possible by the latest tools and features. You will gain insight into real projects that currently use WordPress as an application framework, as well as the basic usage and functionality of the system from a developer's perspective. The book's key features include detailed information and real-world examples that illustrate the concepts and techniques at work, plus code downloads and examples accessible through the companion website. Written by practicing WordPress developers, the content of this edition focuses on real world application of WordPress concepts that extend beyond the current WordPress version.

WordPress started in 2003 with a single bit of code to enhance the typography of everyday writing, and has grown to be the largest self-hosted website platform in the world. This book helps you use WordPress efficiently, effectively, and professionally, with new ideas and expert perspectives on full system exploitation.

  • Get up to speed on the new features in WordPress 4.1
  • Learn cutting edge uses of WordPress, including real-world projects
  • Discover how to migrate existing websites to WordPress
  • Understand current best practices and tools in WordPress development

WordPress was born out of a desire for an elegant, well-architected personal publishing system built on PHP and MySQL, and has evolved to be used as a full content management system through thousands of plugins, widgets, and themes. Professional WordPress is the essential developer's guide to this multifunctional system.

Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #54881 in Books
  • Brand: imusti
  • Published on: 2015-01-12
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 9.00" h x 1.00" w x 7.20" l, 1.80 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 504 pages


  • Wrox Press

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Master WordPress development with this top-rated guide

Professional WordPress Design and Development has been a favorite resource of developers since the first edition in 2010. Now fully updated for the current WordPress release, this 3rd edition offers new coverage of migrating websites to WordPress, the latest tools, and cutting edge uses for WordPress. You’ll gain insight into real projects that currently use WordPress as an application framework, as well as the basic usage and functionality of the system from a developer’s perspective. Detailed information and real-world examples will help you use the world’s largest self-hosted website platform efficiently, effectively, and professionally.

Professional WordPress Design and Development

  • Clearly explains and demonstrates timeless WordPress fundamentals, no matter what version
  • Gets you quickly up to speed on the new tools and features of WordPress
  • Explores new uses for WordPress, illustrated with real-world projects
  • Demonstrates how to efficiently migrate existing websites to WordPress
  • Presents new ideas and expert perspectives on full system exploitation
  • Offers techniques for crafting the best user experience, securing WordPress, managing data, and determining when WordPress is the right tool
  • Provides everything you need to understand, develop, and deploy successful WordPress sites

Programmer Forums

Join our Programmer to Programmer forums to ask and answer programming questions about this book, join discussions on the hottest topics in the industry, and connect with fellow programmers from around the world.

Code Downloads

Take advantage of free code samples from this book, as well as code samples from hundreds of other books, all ready to use.

Read More

Find articles, e-books, sample chapters, and tables of contents for hundreds of books, and more reference resources on programming topics that matter to you.

About the Author

Brad Williams is the cofounder of and, a cohost of the DradCast WordPress podcast, and the coauthor of Professional WordPress Plugin Development.

David Damstra is Vice President of Marketing Services and Creative Director for CU*Answers where his team of developers empowers clients with WordPress.

Hal Stern is an IT executive with a major healthcare company. He is coauthor of Blueprints for High Availability, also from Wiley.

Wrox Professional guides are planned and written by working programmers to meet the real-world needs of programmers, developers, and IT professionals. Focused and relevant, they address the issues technology professionals face every day. They provide examples, practical solutions, and expert education in new technologies, all designed to help programmers do a better job.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

102 of 104 people found the following review helpful.
5An essential resource for developers
By Y. Park
I have been learning WP development for the past few years, my primary source of learning being online tutorials (WPTuts, Smashing, etc..). After a while, I felt it's about time I broaden my knowledge on WP. I found out that the second edition had been just published and got it through Amazon. Here are my few thoughts on the book.

1. This is a fairly comprehensive book covering not only Theme development, but plug-ins, multisite, UX, and more. If you're strictly looking for theme development, this may not be the best fit for you. There is only one chapter dedicated to "Theme Development". Of course, the preceding chapters discuss loops, database manipulations, custom taxonomies and etc, but these would be something to learn once you actually know how to write a theme. If you're looking to increase the overall knowledge of WP development, this is going to be extremely helpful.

2. Some experience with WP is a must. By "experience", I mean a basic understanding of how WP theme and plug-ins are structured. If you have seen a code for themes or plug-ins, it will make understanding a lot easier. On the other hand, the book isn't going to be much useful for beginners. If you have little or no experience with WP development, take a look at Digging into WordPress.

3. The book provides plenty of example codes, but they are meant to be examples, not snippets. I wouldn't recommend the book to someone who are looking for a quick tutorial/cookbook on WP theme development. Finding snippets will still require lots of Googling (or days of wrestling with the code yourself).

4. Any developers would know that finding an organized tutorial on WP development is difficult. Yes, there are more than plenty of free/premium sources, but each tutorial covers only limited part of WP development and finding a comprehensive guide is always a challenge. I am very, very happy that this book responds to that concern.

In short, I would recommend this to anyone who is looking to learn the dynamics of WP.

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful.
5The Only Real Advanced Book for WP devs
By Al Swanson
Best WP book for devs out there. Really, outside the dated plugin dev book, the ONLY advanced WP book out there. Which is surprising given the number of sites powered by WP. You can find literally dozens of HTML 5 books, hundreds of CSS 3 books, many XML... you get the picture. Even tho WP powers upwards of millions of sites, plus their own .com sites, there are very few "actual" books. By that, I simply mean lots of folks are taking advantage of the 'self-publication' route and producing $3.00 64 page booklets that do little more than present sections of the codex, often replete with misspellings and missing information, as 'real' books. They aren't.

I get that WP moves so fast that to research and write and publish a book means that four new versions have been released since the idea first came to you, but damn. I saw and Advanced WP book come out, but it was half-complete and roundly attacked. The WP Bible's not been updated since Snowden was still in America. Too long.

Still - that isn't about THIS book. This book is in the third edition and has been updated for WP all the way through 4.1. Nice! Lots of good, in-depth and in-detail chapters. Just what is needed. I liked it enough that this is my second copy - I have a 2nd Edition, too.

Pick it up.

48 of 49 people found the following review helpful.
5Best available book on WP
By Al Swanson
I'm not sure I get it but there are VERY FEW truly great books on WordPress. Sure, if you want to know how to run a blog on or do the five minute install of wordpress on your own server, there are tons of books. Even this one starts with the latter.

But great books, technical books, on WordPress that are really good are few and far between. Yet WP itself is downloaded 50,000 times a DAY and millions - MILLIONS - of sites run on it. So why the heck aren't there more good books? I'm not sure.

With that, let me say I love this book. Now there are some things I could do without. The chapter on custom post types (my most referenced chapter so far) has a LOT of straight-from-the-codex stuff that I could have looked up myself. And the guys don't do a whole lot of explaining. This is a minor complaint. The rest of the book is excellent.

Which brings me to another point - the books that are in the technical realm assume - this one included - that you've somehow mastered the lingo and working of WP itself. Now, don't get me wrong and death-comment me, there are lots of mid-level explanations to be found here. Just sometimes, it seems like I need that in-between book that doesn't exist for WP. That one that takes you from explaining the dashboard and how to establish that first database connection to the point where you're ready to learn how to code template pages.

Right now, I'm sorry to say, I own just about every "real" WP book in print. I've not found that bridge book yet. I'll buy every WP book I can find and read every web page till I get it, but I'd love to see a intermediate book on the level of Professional WordPress.

If you're past the installs, know the difference between and, have dabbled a little in the guts of a theme and know what the functions.php file is for, you will love this book. Simple as that. I know I've qualified every statement I've made and I'm about to do that here but really, there's no other book on the market (none for WP 3.5 anyway) that matches Professional WP for being, well, professional. Here's that qualifier: I'd love to see it double in size. Or perhaps take out the codex pages and reference them then give us the same size book with more meat. I'd love to see the CPT chapter expanded with examples (or more examples) and maybe some more on how things like the css order is derived.

I guess I just want MORE. I love those bible and unleashed books where they combine (what essentially is repeated) documentation with how-to-do-it stuff. Sure, some of that is here but I still would like more.

(I was a programmer of desktop apps, so I know something of coding, though never used php before. I would like a few thousand pages of here's the code, here's what it looks like run through WP. You know what I mean? I want to understand better, from ONE source, how to not only create that CPT, but then make it look like I want. Anyone else?)

Buy it. You'll probably want to buy others as well, but this is your foundation book for advanced WP development. Period.

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