Book Review: “Web Site Cookbook”
Producing a Web Site is More than HTML

Building a web site is not about fancy colors and things. It’s about communicating to your audience. O’Reilly has a new book out on this and I also encourage you to check out my aged, but timelss “10 Web Site Musts”.
From O’Reilly – 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 bringing 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.
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:
“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