This post is long overdue. For that, I apologize. Now, on to the fun!

Everyone knows I love WordPress.  I build my websites on the platform.  I write plug-ins for other sites.  I recommend it to all of my clients.  I've even contributed code to core. Let's stipulate for now that I think WordPress is awesome.

Those of you who know and follow my work also understand how much I enjoy working with JavaScript - particularly with Ajax.  There's something about making user interfaces work so smoothly that just speaks to me.  Like art for web geeks.  And Ajax just has a cool name.

When I first got started with WordPress, though, there was very little Ajax involved.  I really mean there was basically zero JavaScript used anywhere.  It was boring, old-school, and the admin UI wasn't fun to navigate at all.  Every new plug-in that came out, though, screamed "we have Ajax-y goodness!"  It was one of many buzzwords going around, so I jumped on the bandwagon and tried my hand at the new system.

And I failed.  Miserably.

It took me quite a while to get good enough with JavaScript to even attempt to use Ajax in any projects.  I bought three books that claimed to teach me the ropes.  I worked with 3 or 4 different frameworks before finally discovering jQuery (yay!).  Now I have people asking me for advice on Ajax-powered systems ... so obviously it's something anyone can learn.

Those of you just starting have an advantage

A month ago, Ronald Huereca contacted me and asked that I take a look at his new book, WordPress and Ajax.  I had a lot going on at the time, but I still offered to give the book a fair review and downloaded the eBook version.  A few quick minutes of conversion later and I had a portable version to carry around on my Sony eReader.

I honestly expected it to take me a few days to get through the book - I've never been a fan of technical reading.  To my surprise and amusement, I finished it in a day ... in exactly two sittings!

WordPress and Ajax covers a lot of ground.  Ronald takes you through the basics of loading scripts into a WordPress system all the way through processing Ajax requests from the front-end of a site.  He even walks you through the development of not one but two Ajax-powered plug-ins.

In the world of directly applicable and approachable script snippets, this book is king.  Considering the number of Adobe's "Classroom in a Book" volumes and Programmer-to-Programmer tomes that I own, this is pretty high praise.

When I first dove in, I actually expected the book to be somewhat basic (sorry Ron).  The first chapter is titled What is Ajax and I expected something along the lines of JavaScript 101 as I dug in.  But the humor used throughout the book makes the more basic concepts palatable, and it helps build your confidence before diving in to noncing and script localization (two concepts most veteran developers are still figuring out).

I actually learned quite a bit from the book, and I'm already using some new techniques on my own sites, some client sites, and in a couple of plug-ins I maintain.  If you haven't yet, you should pick up a copy.  It's available both in print format and as an eBook - I recommend the eBook because you can quickly alt-tab between script examples and an IDE.  But print format would work well for that as well ... so it's up to you.

Note: Though I received a free copy of the eBook before writing this review, my opinion and analysis is still objective.  All links above are my personal affiliate link - I will receive 50% of the proceeds from any purchase.  If you would like to buy WordPress and Ajax through a non-affiliate link, please visit: