Website Owner's manual

Author: Paul Boag
Publisher: Manning, 2009
Pages: 296
ISBN: 978-1933988450
Aimed at: Website owners
Rating: 5
Pros: Good balance of theory and practice
Cons: First and last chapters are a bit waffely
Reviewed by: Sue Gee


Although aimed at anybody who wants a successful web and written mainly for the non-professional this book is good enough to recommened to professionals as well.

In its first chapter it looks at three principles of website management starting with "Balance conflicting priorities". Here author Paul Boag suggests that there are six pillars of web design: Usability; Accessibility; Aesthetics; Development; Content and Objectives and that just as in a building pillars need to be equal so they should in web design. He then goes on to outline the alternatives for being a "website owner" as part of the second principle "Define your role", and again lists six: visionary, advocate, evangelist, content guardian, project co-ordinator and referee. I was beginning to feel overwhelmed by its lists but with the third principle, "Plan for the future" the book seemed to settle into its stride. I liked the inclusion of the "Next actions" section rounding off this and every subsequent chapter.

Many books go downhill once they have stated their early objectives  but this book is an exception to the rule - as it focuses on the practical it gets more useful. While other books on the topic make unrealistic claims this one is moderate and balanced. There is worthwhile advice in every chapter. Chapter 2 on "Stress-free planning" has practical help with setting and monitoring your goals including reviewing and testing competing sites. It mentions real tools you can use for this. The idea of creating personas for fictional users to aid design decisions also seems sound.

As the book progresses the focus on users, testing and accessibility is frequently at the fore. This is done in a jargon free way - no mention of UX in this book even in the index. It also tries to explain some of the buzzwords - choosing Web 2.0 and AJAX as the prime candidates. The problems discussed are practical such as a site not working in a wide enough range of browsers, whether to use a content management system and how to choose a hosting package.

The final chapters touch on concerns for existing as well as new websites.Chapter 10, "Driving traffic" looks at the pitfalls of being blacklisted on Google for using unauthorised methods as well as the use of viral marketing and the need to monitor marketing efforts.  Chapter 11, "Engaging your visitors" looks at community building and conversations with users. Chapter 12 has the title "Planning for the future. It briefly confronts the problem of the "broken" website and even more briefly touches on emerging platforms such as cell phones. Compared to chapters in the middle of the book it seems  waffley and jargon-laden but it is short and easily dispensed with and so does not detract from the impression of a well balanced, realistic and helpful manual for anybody wanting a successful website.

 

Banner


Exam Ref 70-483: Programming in C#

Author: Wouter de Kort
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Pages: 384
ISBN: 978-0735676824
Audience: Those taking the exam, devs with little C# experience or coming from another programming language
Rating: 5
Reviewer: Nikos Vaggalis

This book deserves the subtitleThe fat-free guide to C# and the .NET frame [ ... ]



Understanding Computation

Author: Tom Stuart
Publisher: O'Reilly
Pages: 332
ISBN: 978-1449329273
Audience: Rubyists who want to know more about computer science
Rating: 4
Reviewer: Mike James

What exactly is computation? In many ways it is important to know what this book is not about.


More Reviews

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 26 May 2010 )
 
 

   
RSS feed of book reviews only
I Programmer Book Reviews
RSS feed of all content
I Programmer Book Reviews
Copyright © 2014 i-programmer.info. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.