I've lost track of the number of people who have asked me to recommend a good book for Joomla beginners. If only I had a £/$/€ for each request.
With so many books to chose from it's not surprising that there will be both good and bad.
I have "packed in" reading books from one publisher they just don't do it for me, another publisher needs to get "real" and not think they can get away renaming a 1.0 title as 1.5 without even remembering to make simple changes like mambots to plugins. Finally I'm not sure who was the "dummy", me for buying that book or the author thinking they knew enough to write the book.
Joomla! A Visual Quickstart Guide
This book immediately grabbed my attention as it did not start by explaining how to install xammp or mamp. This is just confusing and unnecessary information for the beginner and most beginners will be installing joomla on a real host.
It is enough to simply explain that you can install locally if you have those tools or to place the information in an appendix. After all a book about Joomla already makes certain assumptions about the user such as their ability to use a computer keyboard and mouse.
This book will not teach you how to write your own extensions but that is not what a book for beginners is all about. Nor does it suggest the authors favourite extensions which are out of date by the time the book is published.
- I'm a visual learner.
I like pictures and I like them to be documented.
- Words are great
but why use 100 when 10 will do or a clearly documented image.
- I'm very impatient.
If there is a "best practice" process to creating content on a web site eg Sections, Categories, Articles & Menus. Then explain Joomla the same way. I want to start at the beginning of the book and follow it through to the end, building the site as I progress. Don't make me jump backwards and forwards through the book or force me to keep my thumb in a page that I will continually refer to.
- Reward me for my work.
I've found over the years that I respond well to books that reward me for reaching the end of a section. If I can follow the author as I read and end up with some visible change on my site then the content just makes so much more sense.
- Learn by my examples not yours
Some authors teach by making you build their sample web site. I don't want to build yours I want to build mine.
This book satisfies all of this...
... and more.
As a bonus the book has the best, and simplest, guide to building Joomla templates that I have yet to read, including a list of all the CSS styles used throughout a joomla site.