If you’re planning to make the world’s most awesome blog, you don’t need a stitch
of experience. Chapters 1 through 12 will tell you everything you need to know.
However, you will come across some examples of posts and pages that feature
HTML (the language of the Web), and any HTML knowledge you already have will
pay off handsomely.
If you’re planning to create a website that isn’t a blog (like a catalog of products
for your handmade jewelry business), you need to step up your game. You’ll still
start with the WordPress basics in Chapters 1 through 12, but you’ll also need to
learn the advanced customization skills you’ll find in Chapters 13 and 14. How much
customization you do depends on the type of site you plan to build and whether
you can find a theme that already does most of the work for you. But sooner or
later, you’ll probably decide to crack open one of the WordPress template files that
controls your site and edit it.
When you do that, you’ll encounter two more web standards: CSS, the style sheet
language that helps lay out and format your site; and PHP, the web programming

language upon which WordPress is built. But don’t panic—we’ll go gently and intro-
duce the essentials from the ground up. You won’t learn enough to write your own

custom web apps, but you will pick up the skills you need to customize a WordPress
theme so you can build the kind of site you want.