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Deliver First Class Web Sites: 101 Essential Checklists Paperback – July 20, 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: SitePoint; 1 edition (July 20, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0975841904
  • ISBN-13: 978-0975841907
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,073,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Thomas Duff HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
It seems as if there's an ever-expanding lists of "should-do" items when you're doing web design. Shirley Kaiser wrote Deliver First Class Web Sites: 101 Essential Checklists to consolidate all that information into a single spot. Not a bad addition to the bookshelf...

Contents: Let's Get Started - but How?; What to Find Out - Initial Questions to Answer; Preparing Web Site Content; Managing all the Content; Web Site Usability - Focusing on the User; Color; Information Architecture; Navigation; Best Coding Practice - W3C Standards and Recommendations; Creating Accessible Web Sites; Web Site Optimization; Search Engine Optimization; Design; Testing; Preparing for Launch; Post-launch Follow-up; Ecommerce Checklists; Index

The main thing to remember here is that this *isn't* an exhaustive reference manual on the items listed above. There have been many separate books written about any one of the items. But Kaiser does a nice job in distilling the best and common practices into a short format that can help you remember the things that you often forget. For instance, in Best Coding Practices, she reminds the reader to use proper heading elements, to use ul, ol, and li elements for lists, use for line breaks, not paragraph breaks, and so on. Rather than just say "because I said so", these recommendations are based on solid advice from standards groups and alternative forms of web readers (like page readers for sight-impaired people). You may think that it's no big deal, but the assistive technology works far better when you remember small things like this.

You'll likely find that some chapters are more appealing to you than others. She covers the entire range of development, from design through post-implementation review.
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Format: Paperback
I found Shirley's work to be inspiring, insightful and invigorating! I particularly like the way that she presents information. She has a way of connecting with you that very few authors do well in the non-fiction realm.

I'll be frank, there are like 900 (or perhaps 9000?) checkboxes of "things to do" included in this book. Some are clearly "common sense," like:

"Provide obvious, clear error messages that explain how the user can resolve the error."

...but in practice are so rarely implemented! A couple of weeks ago, I was on the web site of one of the banks that I use. When I tried to access one of my accounts, it presented an error message telling me that I had to log back in due to inactivity. Of course, I had simply clicked on the account and there was no inactivity, but the site had some kind of a problem. The error message was totally irrelevant AND it suggested that the problem was MY fault because I was "inactive."

These kinds of things make a "web experience" either pleasant or terribly annoying. There is nothing worse than a web site that tells you that you're doing something wrong and doesn't explain how or even if there is a way to correct it. Shirley's book should DEFINITELY be read by those in the banking industry! ...and probably anyone else who wants their web site(s) to be encountered without the pain and frustration that comes from poorly considered content.

Shirley provides numerous examples of how to better "align" your site with the needs of users. And, that's what it is really about, isn't it? We don't make web sites for ourselves, we make them for those who visit them. If you're expecting people to visit your web site, you need to read this book. More importantly, you NEED to do what this book recommends.
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I have known Shirley and have respected her design, CSS and Blog work for many years; therefore I purchased the book immediately after hearing of its release. Excellent material, easy to read and logically organized!

CMS discussions, navigation architecture, color management, W3C standards, SEO, Ecommerce checklists are just a few sections to be found. ... Highly recommended! *****
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I bought this book because it was part of the required materials for a web design class that I took. It is a fairly easy read and contains lots of useful information that pertains to developing websites.
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The book contains a bunch of checklists that are convenient for web design and management. It would be better as a book for complete beginners in the field of CSS design web development, but the approach seems too basic for higher-level developers. If taken at the same level as an HTML/CSS beginning developer, this book will be a great help. If you know CSS, quite a bit about web accessibility and web structure, this book isn't worth your time. Sitepoint generally has plenty of other options that would probably fit an advanced need better.
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"Deliver First Class Websites: 101 Essential Checklists", by Shirley Kaiser, is a book that provides a complete overview of the many arguments to pass to your buildSuccessfulWebsite() method. Kaiser lists and explains the best practices in the three major components that must coalesce to produce web sites: management, content, and technology. Her management how-to's highlight project fundamentals -- research, logistics of budgeting, marketing, and testing -- and project leadership -- goal definition, scheduling, communication. Websites exist for their content and functionality, and Kaiser instructs on the elements of good website style: making sites usable through proper information architecture, concise writing style, and effective color and graphics. Technology makes websites happen, and Shirley details the requisite knowledge in this area. She covers the best types of code to use, and the best ways to use it. She explains content management systems, accessibility for the disabled, file optimization, and search engine optimization. If you're a webmaster, "Deliver First Class Web Sites" is a must-read.
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