I was lucky enough to be contacted by Packt Publishing to review the book Building Websites with ExpressionEngine 1.6 by Leonard Murphy. I have recently become very infatuated with ExpressionEngine, and I have devoted a lot of time to learning how to use it. This book was a great opportunity to see where my skill set was at.
Who is it for?
This book is definitely aimed toward beginning users of EE who have some knowledge of HTML. There is no knowledge of EE needed in order to read this book. So basically anyone who wants to learn how to use EE would benefit from reading this. While I have had some experience with EE, I found many parts of this book that were more of a review for me.
What I liked
I really liked that Leonard uses a lot of screenshots and code snippets to help walk through how he is doing something. They definitely would have helped me to comprehend some of the EE concepts that I did not understand until devoting a lot of time online doing research.
This book does a great job of covering a variety of topics, from installing EE and creating a calendar to using other modules and plugins. Even though I have prior experience with EE and this book is geared toward beginners, I did learn a few things about EE from reading this book.
What I could do without
There seemed to be a large chunk of the book devoted to applying CSS to the examples to make them presentable. I don’t think there is any need to go through and explain the CSS; people are buying the book for information about EE.
I also wish that the example site that is used in the book were a bit more realistic. I really learned a lot from Mike Boyink’s Building a Church Site and Building a Small Business Site tutorials because the content and functionality of the sites were real.
This book is really the only EE book out there. So if you are one of those people who has trouble learning from online tutorials and needs a book, this is definitely a solid choice to get started with EE. You can get a preview of it by downloading a sample chapter.
I actually wasn’t aware of this, but Mike Boyink also has his tutorials available as books.