Bookshelf: Web Design on a Shoestring

author Carrie Bickner
ISBN 0-7357-1328-6
It has been years since I looked at a web design book, having pretty much given up on the graphical aspect of web design, and confined myself mostly to back-end database types of things. This book is refreshing, but not comprehensive. It deals with a couple of compelling topic areas:

Content Management Systems

The book is copyright 2004, so it came out really during the blossoming of the blogging movement. Some would argue that blogging software is a content management system, however, the authors dive into the concept of content managment, including the use of dedicated (and not-inexpensive) software to manage web-site content.

Web Standards

This really means a very nice discussion of the use of Cascading Style Sheets; something which seems like a very good idea, and something which is complex enough to not understand on the first reading.

Web Hosting

This is the least satisfying part of the book. It appears to address problems that would normally have come up for the web site neophyte, while the other sections definitely are addressed toward people with considerable experience. The point being, that you get pretty much what you pay for, and you shouldn’t expect a $12.00/month web hosting service to provide much in the way of performance or technical support. Some famous names here are called on the carpet, and there is certainly no correlation between ad budget and performance. (Yes, I’m wondering about the eight page spread in the most recent PC Magazine from 1and1.com. These guys started advertising massively a year or so ago.)

Upshot
Useful. Especially for experienced web site builders, and especially at the price of $16.00 or under. Suggested by Non-Profit Online News.

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