12 Best WordPress Books for Learning the Platform

WordPress is the world’s most popular Content Management System (CMS). Currently the platform powers more than 32% of the web, and it’s estimated that there are close to 64 million WordPress sites. Most people who work online will encounter WordPress at some point in their career, and obviously it’s an excellent platform for building your website. WordPress is relatively easy to pick up, but the range of available features can make it seem daunting to newcomers.

If you’re new to WordPress, spend some time learning the ins and outs of this platform. You can learn plenty from blogs, videos, and online courses. However, a more systematic approach with “old school” books can be even more effective in learning the WordPress platform and associated skills that you need to build and run a successful website.

Our Criteria for Choosing the Best WordPress Books

We’ve put together a list of 12 books for beginner and intermediate WordPress users that meet the following criteria.

  • High quality – The books we chose have five or more customer reviews and an average rating of 4 or more stars. This rating indicates that the information is of a high standard and that consumers are generally happy with the product.
  • Recent and relevant – The books are relevant to the current state of WordPress and related topics to help you manage your WordPress business.
  • Easy to purchase or download – All of the books can be purchased at a reputable site, such as Amazon.
  • Appropriate for beginner and intermediate users – The books are simple enough for relative newbies to understand but meaty enough for intermediate users to benefit from.

12 Best WordPress Books for Learning the Platform

Take your learning journey in small steps. Focus first on any key areas where you’d like to expand your understanding. With that in mind, here is our list of 12 best WordPress books for learning the platform and related skills.

1. WordPress for Beginners 2019: A Visual Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering WordPress

WordPress for Beginners 2019: A Visual Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering WordPress.

Author: Andy Williams

Publication Year: 2018

Length: 227 pages

One of the most comprehensive guides to WordPress. WordPress for Beginners 2019 contains just about everything a WordPress newcomer needs to get started.

Here are just a few of the key areas this book covers:

  • The difference between and
  • Website hosting and domains, and how to set them up
  • How to use the WordPress dashboard, and where to find hidden areas
  • The importance of user profiles
  • Finding and installing WordPress themes
  • What plugins are and how to install them

The book’s 330 screenshots ease the process of learning more complex concepts and make for a more user-friendly approach than text descriptions.

Cost: A paperback copy is $12.34, and the Kindle version is $3.90.

2. Web Design With HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery Set

The Web Design with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery set.

Author: Jon Duckett

Publication Year: 2014

Length: 1152 pages

This two-book set is the perfect addition to any budding website developer’s bookshelf. Although WordPress themes are readily available, much of WordPress’ customization potential requires custom coding.

The Web Design With HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and jQuery Set will help you pick up advanced coding languages and teach you the following basics of web design:

  • How to code tables, forms, and dynamic links
  • The importance of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
  • How to create styling lists and grids
  • How to select appropriate color schemes
  • The impact that design can have on your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • How to use Google Analytics to design an effective website

This set of books takes a visual approach and is split into two books, starting with HTML and CSS and moving on to JavaScript and jQuery.

Cost: Paperback editions are $35.81. Hardbacks are $57.11.

3. WordPress Websites For Business

WordPress Websites For Business.

Author: Michael Cordova

Publication Year: 2017

Length: 246 pages

Many people intend to use WordPress for business. WordPress Websites for Business is a strong option for online entrepreneurs.

It covers the following topics:

  • How to use your site to develop more leads
  • The importance of using an appropriate theme, and where to find business-specific options
  • Content creation tips and hacks for maximum productivity
  • How to simplify more advanced business processes
  • Website performance-boosting tactics
  • Game-changing checklists and resources

The book is laid out in discrete steps so it’s easy to dip into the content at whatever point you need to. This book also covers the basics of strong website security – an essential when you’re looking to take payments from customers.

Cost: A paperback edition costs $9.99. The Kindle version is $6.45. A free audiobook is also available.

4. WordPress Plugin Development Cookbook

WordPress Plugin Development Cookbook.

Author: Yannick Lefebvre

Publication Year: 2017

Length: 386 pages

One of the most important aspects of the WordPress platform is the use of plugins. Plugins enable you to add exciting new features to your site in a matter of minutes, and while there are numerous options available, there may come a time when you want to develop your own.

The WordPress Plugin Development Cookbook shows you:

  • How to register user callbacks with WordPress, forming the basis of plugin creation
  • How to create admin pages and add new content management sections
  • How and why to craft custom post types
  • How to make your pages more dynamic by using JavaScript and AJAX
  • How to add support for plugin translation
  • The best ways to market and promote your new plugin

This book is a little more advanced and best suits those who already possess a strong understanding of the way WordPress works.

Cost: The cost of a paperback edition is $39.99, and the Kindle version is $27.53.

5. The One Hour Content Plan

The One Hour Content Plan.

Author: Meera Kothand

Publication Year: 2017

Length: 150 pages

WordPress exists to facilitate posting content, and this book helps you make that content work for you and your clients.

The One Hour Content Plan includes:

  • How to plan out years’ worth of content in just sixty minutes
  • How to craft engaging headlines
  • Three content-planning methods that deliver maximum results
  • How to effectively manage your time when working with clients

The information in this book is presented in a straight-to-the-point way. Content is truly an integral factor in any successful WordPress website, so it helps to gain a strong understanding of how to produce it effectively.

Cost: The One Hour Content Plan is $12.99 in paperback and $3.80 for a Kindle edition.

6. Project Management for Humans: Helping People Get Things Done

Project Management for Humans: Helping People Get Things Done.

Author: Brett Harned

Publication Year: 2017

Length: 224 pages

Project management is essential when you’re running an online business via your WordPress site or working with clients as a WordPress developer. With that in mind, Project Management for Humans is a great fit for budding WordPress entrepreneurs.

It will teach you:

  • The most effective ways to manage a project
  • How to take a difficult project from the idea stage through to completion
  • Time-saving methods of automating complex processes
  • How to spot and address issues before they become unsolvable
  • How to budget and plan for upcoming projects
  • The best ways to communicate with clients

Project Management for Humans is your go-to guide when you’re working on large-scale WordPress projects. The skills you pick up might even boost your productivity in general.

Cost: A paperback version of this book is $39.00, and a Kindle version is $17.35.

7. CSS: The Definitive Guide

CSS: The Definitive Guide.

Authors: Eric A. Meyer & Estelle Weyl

Publication Year: 2017

Length: 1090 pages

A solid grasp of CSS will help you design a customized website that better reflects your brand.

As a more in-depth offering, CSS: The Definitive Guide explores:

  • Selectors, specificity, and the cascade
  • Values, units, fonts, and text properties
  • Padding, borders, outlines, and margins
  • Colors, backgrounds, and gradients
  • 2D and 3D transforms, transitions, and animation
  • Filters, blending, clipping, and masking

If you have limited knowledge of CSS, the above terms probably make little sense, but this book does an excellent job of explaining complex topics.

Cost: $58.14 for a paperback copy, and $31.61 for a Kindle edition.

8. Starting a Successful Blog When You Have NO CLUE!

Starting a Successful Blog When You Have NO CLUE!

Author: Gundi Gabrielle

Publication Year: 2018

Length: 86 pages

Short and sweet at 86 pagers, Starting a Successful Blog When You Have NO CLUE! is brought to you by a successful WordPress blogger.

Some of the topics covered in this book:

  • A step-by-step guide on how to create your first WordPress website
  • Successful monetization methods to generate an income directly from your blog
  • How to market and promote your blog
  • The plugins and themes that will assist you

Cost: $12.34 for a paperback edition, or just $0.99 on Kindle.

9. Eloquent JavaScript, 3rd Edition: A Modern Introduction to Programming

Eloquent JavaScript, 3rd Edition: A Modern Introduction to Programming.

Author: Marijn Haverbeke

Publication Year: 2018

Length: 472 pages

If you don’t have at least some level of knowledge of JavaScript, you’ll struggle to create more dynamic applications.

This book, recently revised, is an ideal fit for those who already have a basic understanding of the language.

It covers:

  • The essential elements of programming, including syntax, control, and data
  • How to organize and clarify your code with object-oriented and functional programming techniques
  • How to script a browser and create basic web applications
  • The importance of the DOM and how to use it effectively

Cost: Paperback versions of this book will set you back $25.31. Kindle editions are $25.83.

10. A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript

A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript.

Author: Mark Myers

Publication Year: 2014

Length: 254 pages

JavaScript is relatively easy to pick up, and A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript is a perfect starting point for programming newbies.

It contains:

  • A great introduction to JavaScript
  • A practical approach to learning JavaScript, with mini-tasks to complete throughout
  • The meanings behind common JavaScript terms
  • A presentation of complex processes without relying on too much technical jargon

Cost: Paperback copies cost $17.96, and Kindle versions are $7.94.

11. The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right.

Author: Atul Gawande

Publication Year: 2011

Length: 240 pages

There’s no denying the power of the checklist. Checklists enable you to prioritize tasks – something that’s enormously useful for WordPress website owners and developers.

The Checklist Manifesto teaches you:

  • What checklists can help you accomplish and what they can’t
  • How to create effective checklists
  • How checklists can help you boost productivity

This resource also shows how to use checklists to expand your existing knowledge of a subject. For example, you could create a checklist detailing the areas of WordPress that you’d like to research further and use it to carry out the process in a more efficient way.

Cost: The paperback edition costs $11.98, and the Kindle version is $7.44

12. Milestones: The Story of WordPress

Milestones: The Story of WordPress.

The last entry on our list is a free e-book. Milestones: The Story of WordPress was put together by some WordPress enthusiasts over at GitHub. It tells the complete story of the platform’s history. It explores pretty much everything about WordPress, from its humble beginnings to its rise in popularity. It won’t teach you how to use the software, but it’s useful for beginners to learn about where the platform came from, and how it got to where it is now.

Milestones: The Story of WordPress is split into six convenient parts so you can dip into it whenever you want to catch more of the story.

Cost: This resource is free, although you can make a donation if you like.


Although you can’t go wrong with some online research, sometimes reading a book is the best way to learn a new subject. Books are organized and comprehensive, they are ad-free, you can count on them to have a training objective rather than an agenda, and you can come back to them at any time to easily retrieve information.

In this post, we highlighted 12 of the best books for learning the WordPress platform’s ins and outs plus auxiliary skills for building good websites. Any of these books can make a valuable addition to your bookshelf, although WordPress for Beginners 2019 and Web Design with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and jQuery are ideal starting points.

Have you read any of the books we’ve listed? Or do you have any further WordPress-related reading recommendations? Let us know in the comments section below!

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About Will Morris

Will Morris is a staff writer at WordCandy. When he's not writing about WordPress, he likes to gig his stand-up comedy routine on the local circuit.


  1. Kwabena Okyire Appianing on June 22, 2019 at 3:34 am

    I almost decided not to read this article, who wants to read a book on developing a website and you can get free articles and videos on it but as i scanned through i saw this book ” The One Hour Content Plan”

    That is a crazy book i will recommend everyone in marketing to get, i struggled with completing a content calendar for a client , just a few pages of that on my kindle helped me a great deal.

    Thank you Will

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