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Deliver First Class Web Sites: 101 Essential Checklists [Paperback]

Shirley Kaiser
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

20 July 2006

Deliver First Class Web Sites: 101 Essential Checklistsis the only organized and easy-to-use compilation of guidelines, checklists and tips for building modern, best-practice Websites.

Drawing on dozens of books, studies, and research papers, this book distills not-so-common wisdom into 500 digestible guidelines & checkpoints that can be quickly applied to any Web Development project. Organized by chapter, the guidelines cover everything from color usage & navigation, to accessibility, usability and webpage architecture.

By following all the guidelines, you will develop 100% best-practice Websites, ensuring their projects are built "the right way" from the start. This means the final Website will be:

  • Cross-browser & Cross-platform compatible
  • Easy to update & maintain
  • Usable by even novice Internet Users
  • Accessible to disabled visitors
  • Search-engine friendly

As a bonus, all the checklists are downloadable in PDF format, so you can print them out and use them over and over again in all your Web Development projects.

From the Publisher:

Want to learn how to make your web sites usable and accessible? Want to ensure that your sites meet current best practice, without spending hours trawling through incomprehensible specifications and recommendations from dozens of different books, research papers, and web sites? Want to make sure that the sites you build are "right the first time," requiring no costly redevelopments?

Look no further: Deliver First Class Web Sites: 101 Essential Checklists is a comprehensive coverage of current best practice with over 100 checklists, containing over 500 individual checkpoints that cover areas such as design, usability, project management, SEO and much, much more.

Deliver First Class Web Sites: 101 Essential Checklists is a complete compendium of best practices drawn from the author's own experience and dozens of expert third-party references. It's the ultimate roadmap for web developers, project managers, and anyone involved in the process of building web sites. Each checkpoint is accompanied by an explanation and references as required, making this the most comprehensive and easy-to-understand guide to delivering high quality web sites.

Free access is provided to downloadable PDF versions of the checklists-streamlined to contain the checkpoints only, without explanations or references-for you to print and use in your own web projects.

Who Should Read This Book?

This book is ideal for anyone involved in the process of building web sites. Whether you're a web developer, a project manager, or you're looking to commission someone to build web sites for you, the information contained in these checklists will prove invaluable. You don't need any technical experience to benefit from this book.

Editorial Reviews

"This book is highly recommended for all web designers and developers. Depending on the level of knowledge that each of us possesses, we may get a lot or a little from this book, but whatever we end up with will have been worth our time and money." - BlogCritics.org

"It neatly consolidates a considerable amount of worthy advice culled from the author's research and decade in the trenches of the Internet." - Slashdot.org

"This is a very useful book for anyone who is planning a new site, managing others who are responsible for building a site, or bringing an older site up to current best practices." - Virgina DeBolt (webteacher.ws)


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: SitePoint; 1 edition (20 July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0975841904
  • ISBN-13: 978-0975841907
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 18 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,146,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deliver First Class Web Sites 7 Oct 2007
By Tami Brady TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Deliver First Class Websites is one of hundreds of books on website design. Like the majority of these books (the good ones anyway), Deliver First Class Websites takes the reader step by step through web design from planning and preparing content through design and creating clean code to testing and launching the website. In each section, the author even includes handy checklists so that the web designer can assure that he or she has completed each step in the process.

Although I have read and reviewed countless books on web design, Deliver First Class Websites stood out. Most books of this type approach web design from a purely technological point of view and focus mainly on the code needed to create a good website. I found that this book took a slightly different approach. The goal of a good website as defined by this author was one with good accessibility and flow. Often website designers, and writers of website design books, completely forget that websites are made for people. If these people get frustrated when they can't access information, they will simply leave your site. Thus, good flow and accessibility is vital to a successful website.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Consolidating much of what you know you *should* be doing... 30 Sep 2006
By Thomas Duff - Published on Amazon.com
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. So if you're a code monkey by nature, you'll probably gravitate towards those topics. Also, I design with Notes/Domino, so advice on laying out specific pages and determining your folder structure don't necessarily fit nicely in my dynamic web site generation world. But still, there's a lot of good advice regardless of where you're at and what you use...

This is one of those books that can help you consolidate a lot of what you already know to be right, and structure it such that you practice it properly on a regular basis...
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great text for all webmasters! 18 Nov 2006
By Rob Wehrli - Published on Amazon.com
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. If you're not, you're treating your web users poorly.

One thing that I can definitely say about Shirley's work and that is she recommends that web masters check their server logs for web browsers. I use Linux and Opera and I am very tired of web sites that cater only to IE and Windoze. Her recommendations are useful and relevant, in that one should check their logs to see what kinds of client browsers are visiting their sites. This implies developing content suited to the various browers and testing the web site for compatibility with those kinds of clients. With the ever-growing expansion of web-centric devices and different platforms, it is wholly unacceptable to have floating content sitting over the top of other content particularly in forms where the data fields are REQUIRED for submission.

I was recently on a web site for insurance where a required field (zipcode) was errorneously displayed due to a floating border. Granted, it is difficult to test for the 20% in the "80/20" rule, but I don't do business with those who refuse to consider me, too. If you can't afford to lose the 20%, this book is definitely for you. If you just want to address the 80%, this book is an absolute requirement. If you follow even 10% of the recommendations presented in this book, you'll be a world ahead of where you are now with your web site(s)!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete, Accurate & Easy to Follow! 1 Aug 2006
By Richard W. Blakemore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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! *****
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Checklist Checkout 23 Sep 2009
By Lösälgen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful Resource & Easy Read 29 Mar 2008
By Paul Gutierrez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is an easy read that covers many topics that many other web design books fail to mention or emphasize. This book definitely targets both technical and non-technical readers. Therefore, the first couple of chapters may turn off developers; however, the rest of the book is full of tips and reminders that web developers should be doing to create professional web sites.
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