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Web Site Cookbook

Book Description

The total number of web pages today has been estimated at over 3 billion, spanning millions of individual websites. Not surprisingly, there is tremendous pressure on web developers and designers to remain current with the latest technologies.

The Web Site Cookbook from O'Reilly covers all the essential skills that you need to create engaging, visitor-friendly websites. It helps you with the practical issues surrounding their inception, design, and maintenance. With recipes that teach both routine and advanced setup tasks, the book includes clear and professional instruction on a host of topics, including:

  • registering domains
  • ensuring that hostnames work
  • managing the directory
  • maintaining and troubleshooting a website
  • site promotion
  • visitor tracking
  • implementing e-commerce systems
  • linking with sales sites

This handy guide also tackles the various elements of page design. It explains how to control a reader's eye flow, how to choose a template system, how to set up a color scheme, and more.

Typical of O'Reilly's "Cookbook" series, the Web Site Cookbook is written in a straightforward format, featuring recipes that contain problem statements and solutions. A detailed explanation then follows each recipe to show you how and why the solution works. This question-solution-discussion format is a proven teaching method, as any fan of the "Cookbook" series can attest to.

Regardless of your strong suit or your role in the creation and life of a website, you can benefit from the teachings found in the Web Site Cookbook. It's a must-have tool for advancing your skills and making better sites.

Table of Contents

  1. Dedication
  2. Preface
    1. Assumptions
    2. Other Sources
    3. Conventions Used in This Book
    4. How to Contact Us
    5. Safari® Enabled
    6. Acknowledgments
  3. 1. Web Server Setup
    1. Introduction
    2. 1.1. Registering a Domain Name
    3. 1.2. Managing and Protecting a Domain Name
    4. 1.3. Choosing a Server Platform and Hosting Plan
    5. 1.4. Enabling Server-Side Includes
    6. 1.5. Setting the Default Filename for a Directory or Entire Site
    7. 1.6. Making Sure Your Web Site Loads With and Without the “www” Prefix
    8. 1.7. Creating and Accessing Directories Outside the Web Site Root Directory
    9. 1.8. Automating Routine Tasks
    10. 1.9. Restarting Your Web Server
    11. 1.10. Monitoring Web Server Activity
    12. 1.11. Building an Easy-to-Maintain Web Site with Free Tools
  4. 2. Site Planning and Setup
    1. Introduction
    2. 2.1. Writing a Functional Specification for Your Site
    3. 2.2. Assessing Available Materials for a Site
    4. 2.3. Organizing Your Files in Directories
    5. 2.4. Establishing a Naming Convention for Your Files
    6. 2.5. Establishing a Naming Convention for Page Titles
    7. 2.6. Establishing a Naming Convention for Your Variables
    8. 2.7. Downloading All Files from a Site
    9. 2.8. Making URLs Easy to Find and Remember
    10. 2.9. Creating a Flowchart for Complex Site Functionality
  5. 3. Page Design and Navigation
    1. Introduction
    2. 3.1. Choosing Between a Flexible and Fixed Layout
    3. 3.2. Creating a Color Scheme
    4. 3.3. Making Room for All Your Navigation
    5. 3.4. Designing Pages for Advertisements
    6. 3.5. Expanding Your Web Site
    7. 3.6. Adding Background Images
    8. 3.7. Creating Breadcrumb Links
    9. 3.8. Creating a Link Menu to Other Pages
    10. 3.9. Creating Navigation That Does Not Link to Itself
  6. 4. Formatting Text and Code
    1. Introduction
    2. 4.1. Writing Standards-Compliant Web Pages
    3. 4.2. Displaying Foreign and Special Characters
    4. 4.3. Choosing Type Sizes for Display and Body Text
    5. 4.4. Including Dynamic Content in Static Pages
    6. 4.5. Adding a Discretionary Hyphen to Long Words
    7. 4.6. Dividing a Text Block into Multiple Pages
    8. 4.7. Reformatting Database Content as HTML
    9. 4.8. Optimizing Web Page Code
  7. 5. Formatting Graphics
    1. Introduction
    2. 5.1. Optimizing Your Images
    3. 5.2. Creating a Web-Friendly Logo
    4. 5.3. Slicing and Recombining Complex Images
    5. 5.4. Choosing Clip Art and Stock Photos
    6. 5.5. Disabling Image Download
    7. 5.6. Creating Watermarked Images on the Fly
  8. 6. Displaying and Delivering Information
    1. Introduction
    2. 6.1. Explaining Who’s Responsible for Your Site
    3. 6.2. Writing Meaningful Link Text
    4. 6.3. Adding Preview Information to Links
    5. 6.4. Creating Effective Pop-up Windows
    6. 6.5. Randomizing Text or Images
    7. 6.6. Highlighting the Search Term
    8. 6.7. Embedding RSS Feeds on Your Site
    9. 6.8. Creating an RSS Feed from Database Content
    10. 6.9. Adding a Poster Frame to a QuickTime Movie
    11. 6.10. Creating a Printer-Friendly Version of Your Site
    12. 6.11. Generating Downloadable Files Dynamically
    13. 6.12. Offering Your Site on Mobile Devices
  9. 7. Interacting with Visitors
    1. Introduction
    2. 7.1. Preventing Blank Form Fields
    3. 7.2. Duplicating Form Field Data
    4. 7.3. Using Sample Input to Reduce Errors
    5. 7.4. Formatting User-Entered Information
    6. 7.5. Generating Form Menu Choices from a Database
    7. 7.6. Storing Multiple Values in One Database Field
    8. 7.7. Using a Graphical Character String for Form Authentication
    9. 7.8. Putting Additional Information in mailto Links
    10. 7.9. Send Visitor Messages to Your Mobile Phone
    11. 7.10. Using Cookies to Remember Visitor Choices
    12. 7.11. Internationalizing Your Web Site Problem
    13. 7.12. Creating an Email Newsletter
  10. 8. Promotion and E-Commerce
    1. Introduction
    2. 8.1. Turning Site Traffic into Loyal Visitors and Customers
    3. 8.2. Creating an Effective Landing Page
    4. 8.3. Creating a Favicon
    5. 8.4. Forcing a Secure Connection
    6. 8.5. Creating a Self-Signed SSL Certificate
    7. 8.6. Disabling a Form Submit Button After the First Click
    8. 8.7. Creating Complex Select Menus with optgroup
    9. 8.8. Protecting Your Site from Fraud
    10. 8.9. Generating Income from Traffic and Content
    11. 8.10. Tracking and Blocking Visitors Based on Their IP Numbers
    12. 8.11. Soliciting Donations and Contributions
  11. 9. Maintenance and Troubleshooting
    1. Introduction
    2. 9.1. Handling Requests for Missing or Relocated Pages
    3. 9.2. Adding the Referring Page to a Form
    4. 9.3. Improving Site Performance
    5. 9.4. Tracking and Documenting Site Changes
    6. 9.5. Modifying an Auto-Indexed File List to Match Your Site’s Design
    7. 9.6. Converting Source Documents to Web Pages
    8. 9.7. Coordinating Site Updates and Testing
    9. 9.8. Taking Care of Your Database
    10. 9.9. Evaluating Your Site with Metrics
    11. 9.10. Developing Test Procedures for Your Site
    12. 9.11. Preventing Email Address Harvesting
  12. About the Author
  13. Colophon
  14. Copyright