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February 18, 2006

Web Site Cookbook: Recipes for Your Site's Success--Designing, Maintaining, and Marketing

Sebastopol, CA--Let's face it; the only fluff that's not gratuitous is the cycle on your clothes dryer, and if you're typical, even that gets very little use. Why is it then, with all the competition for page views, that so many web sites attempt to beguile us with fluff: wildly theatrical color schemes, ersatz news stories, and quasi-entertaining but nevertheless meretricious Flash displays? Most likely it is because, in spite of the tremendous pressure on developers and designers to produce compelling web sites, they are far too busy working on the sites to spend days studying architecture and design books.

"Producing and maintaining a web site requires both halves of your brain, as well as a closet full of hats for assuming the various roles you'll take on to ensure the site's success," says author and web developer Doug Addison. "In the course of brining a site to life, you might find yourself playing strategic planner, interface designer, programmer, database administrator, quality assurance manager, and promotion guru--often in the same week." For this reason, Addison's new book, Web Site Cookbook (O'Reilly, US $39.99) strives to present a wide range of design, coding, and marketing-oriented solutions to real life problems that come up regularly when creating and managing a web site.

"Regardless of the readers' diverse skills and the many different roles they may play in building a site, they all do so because they have a message in need of an audience and want to succeed in finding that audience on the Internet," says Addison. "The 'Web Site Cookbook' can show them how to publish a site that is not only useful and attractive, but also easy to build, maintain, and update."

The Web Site Cookbook addresses the essential skills needed to create engaging, visitor-friendly (fluff-free) sites, and does so in a simple format that won't require hours of research and study time. In addition to tackling the various elements of page design, the book touches on many of today's hot topics in development--such as Web 2.0 and blogging--as well as implementing graphical passwords (called captchas) and other fraud-avoidance techniques critical for the web site builder. With easy-to-use recipes that teach both routine and advanced tasks, the book offers clear and professional instruction on a host of topics, including:

  • Registering, managing, and protecting domain names
  • Organizing with well planned directory layouts, server-side includes, and configuration files
  • Site promotion and visitor tracking
  • Formatting text using forward and back links, user-resizable fonts, auto page generation, and discretionary hyphens
  • Database interaction, including foreign and non-HTML character handling
  • "New technologies and tools are constantly coming into play in the world of web site building," says Addison. "I want readers to learn and know about them, but also understand that the new tools (and their older counterparts) should first and foremost be used for a common purpose: serving, engaging, and even delighting an audience of visitors to your web site."

    Additional Resources:

    Web Site Cookbook
    Doug Addison
    ISBN: 0-596-10109-0, 261 pages, $39.99 US
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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