Building a WordPress Blog People Want to Read

by Scott McNulty

This is a good book about setting up a blog using WordPress, but the title is misleading. It is not a book about content. It’s a guide to setting up, customizing, and maintaining the WordPress platform for blogging.

There are two main options for blogging with WordPress. You can set up a free blog hosted on  This is easier, but the functionality is limited. Or you can download free software from and install it on your own web server. The book concentrates on the latter approach.

WordPress is a very robust platform and the book does a thorough job of explaining installation, user account managements, posts and pages, tags and categories, comment and spam management, themes, and plug-ins.  Many full-color screenshots help the reader follow along.

Some people use WordPress as a content management system for their entire website, installing various plug-ins to add functionality.  This book does explain how to find and install third-party plug-ins, but the focus is about setting up a blog.

WordPress stores all content in a MySQL database and assembles web pages on the fly every time someone visits the site (as opposed to saving static pages at the time a blog post is created). This can put a strain on the web server if you have a surge in traffic, and can result in slow load times if you don’t have an adequate web hosting service. (I’ve noticed that some sites running WordPress load slowly. I suspect they are using cheap web hosting options.) The book barely touches on the subject of choosing a web host: “Picking a hosting company is topic that could be a book in and of itself.”

For the purposes of this blog, I decided the option would be would be sufficient. However, I added the domain mapping option rather than using the format.

McNulty, Scott. Building a WordPress Blog People Want to Read. Berkeley, California: Peachpit, 2009. Buy from

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