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Web Site Cookbook: Solutions & Examples for Building and Administering Your Web Site [Paperback]

Doug Addison
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Feb. 20 2006 0596101090 978-0596101091 1

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.


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Product Description

Book Description

Designing, Maintaining, and Marketing

About the Author

Doug Addison has more than 10 years of web development and content management experience and has worked professionally with numerous web technologies, including HTML, JavaScript/DHTML, CSS, Apache, PHP, MySQL, and Dreamweaver. Doug worked on the Hoover's Online site and the StarDate and Weatherwise magazine web sites before starting his own web consultancy. He lives in Austin, Texas.


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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Web Site Cookbook Oct. 8 2007
By Tami Brady HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Web Site Cookbook is a really good problem solving guide for beginner to intermediate web designers. This reference includes hundreds of common questions, how tos, and ways to increase efficiency in a standard problem, solution, discussion, and see also format. Each of these entries also uses snippets of text and often includes illustrations of the result whenever possible. Topics include everything from registering and site planning through formatting text and graphics to making forms and dealing with ecommerce issues.

Web Site Cookbook is set up from simple to more complex concepts so that the reader need not have any previous experience creating a website in order to comprehend and make use of these instructions. Furthermore, the quick and easy access of the problem-solution format of the entries will be particularly helpful to web designers looking for particular solutions, wanting to upgrade their skills, or just wanting to learn a few new techniques to improve their site.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grab bag of topics, wanted more March 8 2006
By Jack D. Herrington - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is one of the few books where I would say that I wanted more from it. The choice of recipes is good. And it certainly covers my top ten. But I liked how the material was presented so much that I found myself wanting more.

This is a grab bag book, so you will want to check the table of cotents out before buying to make sure you will get enough material for your dollar. What is in the book is covered well.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So you don't learn the hard way too... March 5 2006
By Brett Merkey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The author says this is the book he wished he'd had when he started building websites ten years ago. I agree. The book is structured as a series of problems posed, with solutions, a discussion, and related links for follow-up. Some of the problem/solution match-ups certainly sometimes read like notes kept handy after some bit of knowledge was learned the hard way.

The book is written for those who make a living by designing, developing, maintaining, and marketing Web sites for themselves or other people. The exclusive focus is on the familiar world of LAMP -- Linux/Unix with Apache, MySQL, and PHP.

The author shares lots of handy code snippets (mostly PHP) to deal with technical issues but he does not neglect the soft skills, such as approaching the information architecture of a proposed site -- and marketing the finished one.

Addison goes into as much depth as is necessary to solve a problem and resists the temptation to go further. He clearly keeps up with best practices. I was impressed that his advice for a printer-friendly site is to use print media CSS. Most sites, even new ones, use more expensive and labor-intensive methods, like adding middle-layer software or creating separate content versions.

Quibble: the book does not mention, nor do the publisher's or author's sites offer any way to download the code snippets and the lists of related links. That is very odd for a book of this nature and I hope the author corrects the oversight for readers soon.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended April 21 2006
By S. Stanicki - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Excellent for beginners, but I would have liked to have gotten more detail. Perhaps that is the trade-off for so broad a subject. This book has answers to alot of questions that beginners (like me) might have. For instance, when I was shopping around for a hosting service for a personal website, features that were common to most hosting plans were cron (a scheduling utility) and ssi (server side includes). What are they? Why would they list them as a plus for hosting? Why would I care if they featured these or not? Well the Web Site Cookbook not only tells you what they are, but also gives you examples as to when, how, and why you might use them.

Each topic (recipe) is broken down into 4 sections:

1. Problem: A one or two sentence description of what you need or want to do.

2. Solution: A step by step solution.

3. Discussion: A discussion of the applied solution.

4. See Also: Additional information from other "recipes" in the book and/or outside resources.

There are also sections on planning your site, organizing directories, creating color schemes, as well as tips on making URL's easy to find and remember. (just to name a few). This book will get you well on your way to putting together a well designed web site. Highly recommended.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine collection of practical Web site management information April 5 2006
By moolera - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
What's refreshing about Addison's Web Site Cookbook, is that it's decidedly not a Martha Stewart Web Site Cookbook. In other words, you won't encounter loads of interesting, but esoteric and elusive online reference material that you're not likely to understand, let alone actually use on your site (Read: no blanched albino Peruvian endives here. But I digress...).

Addison has put together a fine collection of practical, useful and downright helpful info for those charged with managing all aspects of a site. For Web denizens who've been at this for a while, you're still likely to find new material that can be readily applied to existing sites (say, the addition or favicons, or new PHP tools). For others, newer to Web site management, there are hosts of items that should save time in overall execution (i.e. flow charting processes, protecting images files/directories, naming conventions, etc.) by getting it right the first time.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thorough and Useful March 7 2006
By Elizabeth H. Neeld - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Doug Addison is a professional. He knows his stuff. This book covers all the aspects of setting up and administering a web site. Doug's instructions are clear and comprehensive. I do think, however, that the density of the text might be off-putting to a new web site builder and administrator. More graphics would have helped and more white space. I was also puzzled why an animal was on the cover. These are small points, however, and don't affect the value of the contents of this very excellent book.
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