Book Review + Giveaway Of Digging into WordPress (2 copies)


This article is the first post of our new “Book Review Series” in which we will try to review and giveaway a book each week here on 1stWD for our awesome readers.  If you are a WordPress lover like me then I am sure you have also read some books regarding WordPress. There are a plenty of books available in WordPress niche but one of the most comprehensive book I have ever seen is Digging into WordPress by Chris Coyier and Jeff Starr. Both of them are renowned authors and famous developers of WordPress Community. Today we will review the book and yes as said in title, we have 2 copies of Digging into WordPress to giveaway for our beloved 1stWD readers.

About the Authors

The book is co-authored by Chris Coyier of CSS-Tricks and Jeff Starr of Perishable Press. Both of them are famous in WordPress Community because of their out of the box solutions for developing websites using WordPress.

I will suggest you to check their blogs to guess the quality of content in book. The blogs mentioned before are filled completely with awesomeness.

What’s so Special in Book??

So you want to know what’s so special in this book. The authors of book wrote it in just two lines and we think that it is 100% Correct.

There is much to learn about the World’s most popular publishing platform. From your first steps of learning about WordPress all the way through maintaining a site throughout the years, this book is packed with truly practical information.

In short, the book will teach you how to create a WordPress theme from scratch. Starting from how to install WordPress securely, you will end the book learning clever tips and tricks for advanced WordPress theme development.

Why we liked the book?

There is no doubt that the whole book is filled with great content but the best thing we liked in the book is written below.

The PDF version of the book is awesome because we will be able to update and expand it indefinitely. As WordPress changes, the book will evolve with new information, techniques, and code. This is why we call the DiW PDF a “living, breathing document” – it will grow with WordPress, and will be updated and improved periodically well into the future.

Yes, you have got it right. The plan is to update this book as often as WordPress changes with new versions. When we first heard about this feature, we thought that It will be a little bit difficult as WordPress releases 3 Major versions in a single year. It’s not easy to update the book thrice a year, but the guys behind Digging into WordPress proved their selves by providing the version two just after 3 months of releasing the book to public. This means that the book will get an update after WordPress 3.0 so you will never feel that your techniques are old.

Two new chapters in DiW V2



We have 2 copies of DiW book for giveaway. We are thankful to the guys behind DIW for supporting this giveaway. Read on how to take part in giveaway.

How to enter in the giveaway?

Pretty simple, you have to leave a comment on the post and tell us what you want to see on 1stwebdesigner, or how we can make the website better. The comments should be constructive and powerful so that you can increase the chance of your win. We will select the best opinions and winners will be announced. The giveaway is open till 11:59pm GMT+5, May 11th 2010.

Grab the book right now

If you don’t like waiting for the result of giveaway, you can buy the book here directly. What we can assure you that this book is definitely worth your money.

Feel free to let me know if you want us to review some specific book via comments section. Good Luck!



  1. I don’t know why everyone has a problem with the lists, they’re the main reason I visit. I like to find beautiful and inspiring sites, but I rarely find time to go look for them myself. So thanks 1st Webdesigner!

    • Thanks for support – of course there a lot of bad type of list posts just plainly listing stuff, but we try to keep easy to scan article in the same time thinking about interesting and unique content.

  2. Edwin van der Veer

    Thanks for the great article on ‘Digging into WordPress’.

    About your site then…;)
    I know you have to generate revenue, but there’s a little too much advertising to my liking. Otherwise, the article section is crisp and clear :)

    Right now I am swaying between different CMS’es. I have tried Joomla, Drupal, Modx, Concrete5, to name but a few. Recently I dove into WordPress, because it has a lot flexibility and with the upcoming release of WordPress 3.0, that should become even better. (read the excellent article on Mashable)
    I like the extensive collection of themes that sites like Themeforest and the likes deliver. Recently I tried the Twitter module of XHanch on another host than and liked it a lot ! The modules collection is nothing short of amazing and the fact that package dependencies are solved automatically, is a bonus as well. No more fiddling with core packages and such… ;) WordPress will probably become my CMS of choice, because of the reasons mentioned above. But to harness that power, I really would like to have a good manual to help me on my way. So there you have it….in a nutshell. Reading an excerpt of Digging into WordPress, I think that it will help me a lot.

    Kind regards,


  3. Russell Crawford

    Well i think the site is great but the design seems a little bland and boring, i think it would be a lot nicer with a bokeh style colourful background instead of the blue gradient.

  4. I would LOVE to see some articles on Thesis. I have been designing with it a lot lately and it would be very helpful.

  5. Rachel

    This is such a great giveaway, and I’ve been after this book for ages so it’d be great to win it!

    With regards to 1st Web Designer, I’d prefer to see more in depth articles. Articles like the recent “5 Ideas to Help You Become a Better Designer” and “Be a Design Commando” are much better than the generic list articles that are mostly seen around design blogs these days. Having said that, sometimes lists are popular and sometimes they’re useful, but the in depth articles just seem to have more substance and make the blog seem more reputable and well thought out.

  6. lawrence77

    I want to win :)

    I want to see more tutorials than roundups :D

    THanks for the giveaway ;)

  7. KyRoka

    I would like to see more on exercises for keeping your skill up to date.

  8. Jeremy Wells

    I really like all of the posts you currently do and find myself wadding through them for hours at times. One cool thing you could do is try to involve readers a little more to create a greater sense of community. This could be done via giving users feedback on their work or showing how they have implemented one of your articles.

  9. Bitoo

    Keep up the good work.

    More tutorials featuring conversion from Photoshop to HTML, Fireworks to HTML etc.

    Good Luck All.

  10. Looks like a great book, thanks for the heads up about it.

    I really like this site, and actually especially enjoy the lists of different types of websites that you feature. I’ve been collecting webshots for the last 3 years, and whenever I need inspiration I find it an incredibly useful resource. It’s also great to see web trends and how quickly fashions come and go.

    I’m always surprised at how plain this site is, but I don’t means that as a criticism. I like that you emphasize functionality over design through your own site.

    I would like to see the search feature work better on this site, which would mean better tags on the articles. I would also think that some kind of ranking system for what level of knowledge the article would best suit would be beneficial in the teaser paragraph.

    I like that you use a variety of authors, and your posts are frequent enough for me to keep you on my RSS feed, but not so frequent that I get overwhelmed.

    The only thing I think that you really need to change is that hideous banner at the top.

  11. Tony Dunsworth

    I would like to see more on tweaking in WP and other CMSs just to see what is available. Or more on building your own frameworks/templates to challenge a programmer’s skills

  12. Jeremy R. Cox

    It would be great if this blog had various options for sorting the different categories other than just most recent first. For example, you could have an option to sort by most popular, most comments, or most tweeted about.

  13. Ranjith

    This masterpiece from Chris coyier is a must read for those WP aspirants … and i am one of them !

    Talking about 1WD, there are a lot of things that can be improved (the contents are just awesome and there are a lot of scope for improvement).

    Some of them are:
    1. The never liked the LOGO of 1WD, give it a makeover and i bet, the site will win 10 bonus points right away
    2. The contents are already rocking, but there needs to be a thorough curation, not to give a feeling that most of the articles, are round ups.
    3. With the kind of readerbase and traffic, 1WD deserves a complete makeup and usability wise, there needs to lots of tweaking, with the help of the plugins that are available now.

    These are a few of the points that comes to my mind, and would love, these to be implemented sooner.


  14. thanks for the giveaway !
    I like to see more tutorials on vector and character design ! hidden powerful tips from both Photoshop and illustrator.
    articles about boosting creativity and Industrial ethics ( learning and working strategic is different) it will really help new fresh designers !!
    this book helps me in making my WordPress blog more user friendly to readers and know the knowledge about them.

  15. OMG, it will be hard to win with so much good opinions about the site, but I’ll try anyway.

    I think you can improve a lot 1stwebdesigner’s site by making it bigger. I mean, literally. Your major public is formed by designers and I bet that everyone has a good screen resolution (those who doesn’t, should). It’s kind of boring have to roll the screen down too often. Well, you can do that by making the sidebar smaller, or increasing the size of the entire site.

    The tutorials are great, I’m learning great things about Photoshop (since I’m used to work with fireworks), but I’m in need for CS5 tutorials. Many times I feel confused following the tutorials because some tools changed slightly and I can’t find the correct options (I’m a newbie in PS). Anyway, you should also update the current PS CS4 tutorials to CS5 (not changing the whole article, but at least putting some observation like “in CS5, use this tool instead of that tool” or something like that).

    In deviantart community, I don’t like the way you post updates. It’s always just a quote from the article. Put at least half of the content there, or a nice introduction that really give a feel of what’s in your site, because a couple paragraphs don’t explain too much and blog posts in DA are meant to be full blog posts, not advertising space.

    Well, I hope my opinions are valuable. Even if I don’t win, I expect you to do some of the changes proposed here.


  16. Peter Z.

    I would like to read more on current and upcoming webdesign trends. It would be really nice to get to know about the newest technologies first :) here.

  17. As much as I would love to Win an Awesome copy of the book. I would love to see this site re-designed with a unique look that stands out from the rest of the graphic design blogs. I would also love to see some awesome flash tuts with source files that will help readers like me improve our skills in the area.


  18. I notice in studying tutorials it seems all the same. An expert of some sort gets online and puts together a tutorial of an action or skill set that he or she has been doing for a while. So whether video or text tutorial, they make the tutorial seem like its super easy. Then someone like me gets on there and it just doesn’t come out just right and you don’t know why.

    I would like to see some tutorials explain in places where and why there may be some slight differences in results especially if the user will eventually or is using a different photo to complete the tutorial. In knowing why there may be changes and where the user will become empowered and more knowledgeable of designing with the technique used and not just following instructions on a screen.

  19. Rolando

    I would love to win a copy of the book, I’ve seen good reviews about it.
    Back to the question, I would like to see an article about all the most important web conferences for the year so we can be aware and plan ahead of time trying to make it to some of them.

    Thanks for this great opportunity.

  20. dfobbs

    I really enjoy using this site for learning but a major improvrnent I think would be to re-organise your tabs. It is abit messy with things like CSS & Design not being under the same topic.

    Besides that keep the articles coming.


  21. Balazs Bohonyi

    I want this book :)

    It would be interesting to see some articles about other CMSs like Silverstripe for example (how to create themes for Silverstripe for example).

  22. I’ve heard a lot about this ebook and really want to have a copy of it. Jeff Starr and Chris Coyier are very famous, I often visit their blogs to see article about WordPress. Have this ebook is my great pleasure.

    About 1stwebdesigner, I know you’re using Hybrid WordPress Theme Framework. Maybe you’re the most famous blog that using this framework. So, as a developer, I really want to read high quality, in-depth of using Hybrid or how to customize it as you did. I think many people are interested in this, too.

    Thank you very much for this giveaway. Best wishes for you.

  23. tcertain

    I have used WordPress to set up a blog, but don’t understand the working parts well enough to design with it. So I think it would be perfect for that.

    Your site is very informative and I keep it on an rss feed that runs all day long. Would like to see more on LLC as the video reinforced what I had already investigated. But I would like to see more on individual LLC. Also more on SEO and how it is changing. More freebies would be nice. How to get clients without cold calling. More on pricing models.

  24. I’ve been reading 1stWeb for quite some time now, the content is always superb but there is one thing I’ve love for it to cover.

    I’d love to see more business oriented posts.

    Not just freelance list posts but in depth articles such as setting up an LLC, working with taxes, hiring and outsourcing. Real world scenarios, not just upfront design.

    I think it would be great for all of us to really get to know what it takes to successfully run an online business (wither it’s for design, coding or other).

    • I am planning to write actually about what’s happening and how it’s all organized here @1stwd site, it would be real world scenario from my side :)

      but great idea – definitely agreed we could cover those topics and make them design, blogging, business related :)

  25. Very interesting book, thank you for the opportunity to win it :)
    It would be great if you’d post more articles about wordpress, css, jQuery, fewer lists.
    and maybe a revamped site :D

  26. Matto

    Amazing book!
    I’d love to see video tutorials on how to use jQuery with WordPress, more PS stuff and of course HTML5.

  27. Dodie

    Beginner’s guides (and absolute beginner’s guides) to anything design :D

  28. Abdelhadi Touil

    Thanks for this great giveaway.
    First sorry for my bad English. I’d like to see here more tips about how to use jQuery and Wordress, more stuff about wordpress secrets, and more tutorials in Coding layouts from PSD to xhtml/css and html5/css3, so this can helps us very much.
    For 1stWebDesigner I think it’ll be better if you add a page in the top menu to authors, because I didn’t like it so much in the footer, in wich you can add more nicer stuff.
    These are my ideas, and thanks for listening to my bad English again :)
    Good luck.

  29. Gonzo the Great

    Hi Saad,

    Great give-away! Why I would like to win one copy of DiW?

    As a blogger and freelance designer I’m constantly working on my blog or making corporate blogging sites in WP (besides making hand-coded HTML-websites). Every piece of (good) information is crucial in this process to achieve the best result.

    I heard a lot of good things about this book (not only in your post), so I hope to win one! You’re never to old to learn, Cheers & Ciao …

  30. Yigit Ozdamar

    I think you guys can incrase the speed of page. Other things are really cool! Thanks for the giveaway!

  31. Jay Carlson

    I’d like to see less “lists” of things and more articles written on best practices and processes. it’s easy to see a list of “beautiful websites” and go copy those styles/layouts/textures/typography in photoshop (I’ve done it myself, so I’m not dogging on anyone), but that’s not how it should work. we need more info on creating from scratch, being creative, how to really think, how to concentrate, and how to innovate. I feel that it’s hard to do those things when we’re bombarded by the same lists over and over…

    (not saying that 1st Web Designer does a lot of lists, but it’s just a trend I see a lot of lately that bugs me…)

  32. Hugobel

    Hello, I am moving my website to wordpress and this could be really helpful :)
    Thanks for this promo!

  33. I’d like to see more PSD to HTML tutorials and learning how to put up a WordPress site for beginners. Thanks for the great contest.

  34. kelly

    Thanks for the giveaway. Like to see more SEO articles and more how-to video tutorials also.

  35. Karen

    Please always give a visual example of what you are describing. Recently another site was posting on custom fields. They gave no such example. I requested one, and they gave some breezy answer – but they didn’t go the extra step to show what the heck they were trying to describe. those of us who come from design backgrounds and don’t come from programming backgrounds, really need to see a visual example. so there’s my request & i would LOVE a copy of Digging into WordPress – because i hear it’s full of visual examples! Yay!

    • oh I am repeating this to all of our guest writers – more visual reference everywhere! I think we are doing this in good way already, but will try to improve even more!

      Thanks for comment and good luck into winning this book! :)

  36. Ronaldo


    The only changes I would do to this site would be to the footer: improving content and that long list of authors (maybe pagination, top authors, dunno).

    As for content I really would like to see more about prototyping/wireframing, web projects management/planning, information architecture and in-depth website analysis/case-studies, usability and UX.
    For the rest i’m happy with it. Congrats

  37. Picture this, your viewers come to the site and see what look like buttons at the top of your screen. They click on one and are taken to a different page because the buttons actually belong to a banner ad and not your site. They get frustrated and never come back. This kind of thing is all too common, plus banner ads are so ’90s. Check out a book called “Don’t Make Me Think” by Steve Krug. This book is in my opinion, the bible on usability standards.

    On a side note I would also like to see more options for sharing posts via an array of social networks.

    Thanks for the promotion, I hope I win a copy of that book.


    • Saad Bassi

      Ah. Charles ads are necessary to pay the bills. If there will be no ads, there will be no articles too.:( We will try to introduce some new ad spots so that we can remove that leader board.:)

  38. el

    Fewer lists; more practical, useful information.

    Of the 10 articles on your front page, 7 are lists. While grouping things you find interesting and “inspiring” is convenient for you, it’s less useful to me than something like your excellent jQuery validation article.

    Most days I need less inspiration and more information. I needed some jQuery validation help a few weeks ago: Now that I have some working code, I can make my app better because you showed me how easily it could be done.

    And even if you’re explaining techniques I don’t need now, they serve as inspiration in themselves by showing me possible applications. Help me be a better designer/illustrator/coder by showing me HOW to achieve my dreams rather than drowning me in inspiration I can’t realize.

    • Saad Bassi

      Well, really don’t know how you count the article. When this article went live there were 3 tuts, 3 text articles and 4 lists. Looks like you made a mistake.

      Definitely, tuts like the one Michal Kozak wrote are awesome but its a fact that they take a lot of time to code and write. We will surely try to increase the number of tuts. Stay Tuned.:)

      I am very thankful for your detailed input. Best of luck for the giveaway.:)

  39. I would like to see more book reviews! I was just recently looking for an intermediate to advance wordpress book and decided to buy the “How to be a Rockstar WordPress developer”. Had I seen this post previous I may have bought this instead!

  40. Jim Glading

    Just starting a WordPress blog for my ESL colleagues and am looking for suggestions, how-tos, tricks and traps. Found your website on Twitter. It looks like a good place to start. How to make it better? Make the Giveaway conditions clearer from the start.