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Secrets of Successful Web Sites Paperback – July 31, 1997

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What does it feel like to create a major commercial Web site? And what do you have to do to make it succeed? David Siegel's new Secrets of Successful Web Sites gives us a close look at 15 high-profile projects and extracts the hard lessons that they can teach. Anyone embarking on a big development project, whether as a designer, producer, or client, will do well to consider them.

Siegel's premise is that commercial Web design is an exciting and noble undertaking, but one that is fraught with pitfalls. His goal is to help both designers and their clients understand what they are getting into, what each side needs to bring to the table, and what both sides must do to communicate effectively. He also addresses the practical realities that make or break a project, figuring out what a particular Web site is supposed to do, how long will it take to build, what it will cost, and how it will be maintained.

The first half of the book consists of case studies of the creation--often painful--of successful Web sites. The hurdles these developers faced include hopelessly unrealistic schedules, flaky subcontractors, confused clients, and the immaturity of Web technology itself. Each study showcases the particular problems that the designers faced, how they managed to overcome them, and how you can avoid finding yourself in the same spot. The second half of the book is a systematic exposition of the ropes: What the market realities are, how designers and clients find each other, how to put together a proposal and bid on a job, and how to manage a project using Web technology. Siegel also takes you through the creation of content and design, staffing the fledgling site, testing it, and finally getting it online.

Organizational nitty-gritty of this sort is the less glamorous side of building a site, but Siegel injects it with the same excitement that made his Creating Killer Web Sites a smash bestseller. Anyone involved in creating a real Web site will find excellent practical orientation and a lot of much-needed debunking in Secrets of Successful Web Sites.

From the Publisher

Much of the book consists of visual case studies that give information that most sites won't give out what worked for them, why and exactly how. Readers learn the insider secrets of successful business planning, budgeting, and collaboration. Each case study explores both the client and developer point of view, so readers can see for themselves what works and what doesn't. This book gives clients everything they need to guarantee a successful site and gives Web developers everything they need to guarantee a successful Web business. - Explore visual case studies revealing the insider secrets of managing a web project

- Never-before-revealed expert advice on cost/benefit analysis, contracts, rights issues, and marketing

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hayden; First Printing edition (July 31, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568303823
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568303826
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,900,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Siegel is an author, consultant, and investor focusing on the future of technology, the Internet, and business. Always on the cutting edge, David is credited with being one of the first entrepreneurs and designers in the emerging web site design business, designing his first site in 1993. He started blogging in 1994 (before the term was invented) and started one of the first web-design and strategy firms in the same year.

David has been writing books about the Web since 1995:

* 1995: Creating Killer Web Sites (Macmillan; translated into 16 languages)
* 1997: Secrets of Successful Web Sites (Pearson)
* 1998: Creating Killer Web Sites II (Pearson)
* 1999: Futurize Your Enterprise (Wiley)
* 2010: Pull (Penguin)

David has been lecturing and speaking about the Web since 1995, and about the semantic web since 1998. He has delivered over 100 speeches on the Internet and business. He also lectures on dark chocolate and has been doing professional chocolate tastings since 2002.

You can learn more about David and his latest book, Pull, at ThePowerOfPull.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Charles Thiede on December 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
Secrets of Successful Web Sites is a great resource if you want Case Study after Case Study with very little content ascribed to Project Management. Pages 161 and beyond contained the only worthwhile content for Project Managers.
Secrets lacked back-end integration processes, discussions on powerful web apps like BroadVision and Vignette and was fundamentally positioned for Web Agency types like US Web and agency.com. It lacked serious discussion on the technology and the Project Management methodologies could have been expanded on, instead of wasting 161 pages of case study narratives. I did, however, like the fact that the author included the client in the chapters.
I would recommend this book to someone who is interested in what the competition is doing and not in how to Project Manage a web development project with serious integration and legacy build applications.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Mark Warrick, mark@warrick.net on December 9, 1998
Format: Paperback
I was first attracted to David Siegal's work via his HighFive.com web site and one of his other titles, Creating Killer Web Sites. I have always been impressed with how he designs - in a very simple, yet elegant manner. This book is written in true Siegal style - easy to read and understand. It's also a great book to read during lunch time because you can digest one or two chapters in an hour while enjoying your favorite snack!

What I liked the most about the book were two things: the case studies of real life web projects and the project managment methodology.

The case studies were humorous at times, spawning the "I've been there." response. But more importantly, the studies outlined what went right, what went wrong, and how these companies involved overcame the hurdles that are somewhat inevitable in this business. I was encouraged to think about the ways I have been dealing with clients and how I might better serve them in the future.

Siegal's methodology about project management is clearly described, easy to follow, and has become a standard for the way I deal with clients today. I have had far fewer problems with clients and my clients truly appreciate me exerting the extra effort into the project management aspects of web development.

This book is a must read for anyone who wants to succeed in web development.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Ripley on January 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
Project management finally has a bible to call its own! In this wonderful book, David Siegel begins the reader with tales of websites. He goes through how they were conceived, born, and how they grew up. (I love the Land Rover story) The stories are a quick read and contain many useful tips to the careful reader. Part two discusses the CLIENT-CONTRACTOR relationship. This is perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of web design. Siegel demands that the customer has the right to define the goal of the project, and that it is the responsibility of the Project Manager to LISTEN! No IT deparment mumbo jumbo, no new bells and whistles. Siegel pushes for open and honest communication between the client and the contractor, and slips clever ideas into the book along the way. BTW: The chapter on PRODUCTION SITES is worth the price of the book alone. Overall, a tremendous book, if you produce websites, this is one that you simply cannot miss. Thanks for another great book David!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Darryl MacKenzie on November 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a Methodology for managing the successful development of an ecommerce project in the 21st century then keep looking. This 1997 edition addresses only the front end graphic aspects of web site development.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 1, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book based on the dozens of accolades here at Amazon.com. What a joke this book is! The thing is UNREADABLE. It is as if a graphic designer simply was let loose. It is impossible to follow the narrative and get at the "project management on the world wide web" part that the title promises. I really don't care that this web designer nearly had a heart attack when their ISP was down and Bill Gates was going to introduce IE 3.0 using it, in front of thousands. This is more of a scrapbook of a cadre of overly proud graphic designers. This book needs a major rewrite if it is to become useful and provide guidance to building USEFUL websites
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Clark Murray on November 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
Written entirely from an ad agency point of view. OK if you're still doing brochureware. Offers no insights into the business process or technology challenges of e-commerce web site development.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Bob H on September 2, 1997
Format: Paperback
Mr. Siegel's new book, "Secrets of Successful Web Sites" is a highly comprehensive guide to the tactical methodology of creating
and implementing a business-oriented Web site.
In that regard the book could certainly be considered successful and of value.

The profession of Web site development can benefit from the degree of professionalism and
business acumen that Mr. Siegel and his firm, Studio Verso, would appear to possess.
And his obvious passion for and devotion to the development of the Web is admirable.

However, from some of his endeavors such as this book and his previous one, "Creating Killer Web Sites", his "High 5" site and his weekly "Journal" entries I find it hard not to detect the presence of a pretty hefty ego at work and a sense of self-importance I find disconcerting.

Taken from the same somewhat self-serving perspective, one might get the inkling that
"Secrets..." was written with the aim of promoting his design firm very much in mind. (I was left with pretty much the same impression after reading designer Roger Black's recent book, "Web Sites that Work". (What is with these guys? Why do they feel the need to self-promote themselves so blatantly?)

I also find wearing Mr. Siegel's almost total focus on the Web as a business opportunity and
it is rather dismaying that his particular vision seems to be so widespread.

In that same vein it is very depressing to find Steve Jobs quoted in this book as
saying, "Real artists ship." Aaarrgh!!! If that be the case, by Mr. Jobs' standards,
Leonardo da Vinci was not a "real" artist.

In summary, I appreciate Mr.
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