Head First WordPress, by Jeff Siarto: An excellent book to explore the important features of WordPress as blogging platform and CMS, and to manage a well organized blog.
A couple years ago I wrote a booklet about WordPress, aimed to educate teachers and students to start blogging. The book was almost purely for novice, to use WordPress.com, to install WordPress.org, and to understand blogging world (feed, aggregator, communities, etc). This year I found that O’Reilly has published a book discussing WordPress: Head First WordPress.
As other Head First books from O’Reilly, it is rich with illustration, and clever metaphors to make it easy to understand the concept of WordPress. This is an O’Reilly, not a “For Dummies” book, so you could not expect a verbose explanation here. In brief but clear language and illustration, it discusses the concept of website and blogging, the installation of WordPress from the scratch, changing the blog’s look and feel, editing the themes. Things like webhosting selection, cloud computing, and Google Analytics are also explored. Then it explores some relatively advanced topics, including the use of plugins, multimedia services (podcast, video, etc), organizing, optimizing, and securing the site.
However, as the name implied, this is a book for starter: it does not review all features of WordPress. Features of WordPress Multiuser and Buddypress are out-of-scope. For seasoned WordPress users (or plugin developers), there are not so many new ideas to dig here. I will suggest this book for a new blogger or web designer who want to boost his/her blogging experience in short time.
One other thing: I think O’Reilly must publish the Kindle version. The current e-Book version is only in PDF format, and less enjoyable to read in Kindle.