Whenever I say to a circle of friends that I am a Joomla! developer, the dreaded question always pops up: “Hey, I've heard that this Joomla! thing is good, can you help me build my own site?”. This usually makes me frown because a. the person who asks is a complete newbie to Joomla! and/or web sites and b. they don't want to hire a web developer – like me, for example – to build their site. If I respond positively to such an inquiry I will end up building a site, explaining step-by-step how I do that, do a lot of training and not get paid for my time (no, buying me a coffee doesn't make up for 80 hours of lost time, sorry). If I respond negatively I am usually accused of elitism, or even confronted with the equally dreaded “Oh, come on, you'll just teach me the basics, I don't want to steal your job”. Awh... What can anyone do in such an awkward situation?

Well, being caught in such an impossible position calls for a diplomatic answer. The quite simple “I'm sorry, but I don't really have much time available” doesn't cut it. What I always wanted to say is “I'm sorry, but I don't really have much time available – however, I heartily suggest reading some-really-good-book-title-here and getting back to me if you still have questions”. Major pitfall: finding a book so good that leaves few, if none, questions unanswered. After a long time, I think I found it!

Being a regular customer of Packt Publishing has its benefits. One of them is that I convinced myself to subscribe to their newsletter. The other day a message in my inbox informed me of the release of a new book called “Joomla! 1.5: Beginner's Guide”, written by Eric Tiggeler. The title alone intrigued me, as I was looking for a book to suggest to newbies. After reading the sample chapter and browsing through the contents I had my “a ha!” moment. I had finally found a Joomla! book for newbies that I liked, it was easy to read and contained everything I would teach to a newbie, anyway. Not to mention that it seems to cover all subjects in an illustrated, step-by-step tutorial format which is so suitable for newbies. In fact, I don't think you really need to know much about Internet to read this book, except how to get on-line. It's that easy to read!

I immediately felt that I had to contact Packt to ask them for permission to publish a review of this book on my site. So I did, and the results surpassed my expectations. Not only I got their permission to review the book, but they also agreed for me to host a raffle with my review. So, get ready! In a couple of weeks I'll have read the book in its entirety, write a thorough review and host a raffle for one of you to win a copy of the book. Plus, I get to finally be able to tell wannabe webmasters “I'm sorry, I don't really have much time available – however, I heartily suggest reading "Joomla! 1.5: Begginer's Guide" by Packt and... it will just answer all of your questions!”.

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