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

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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: 17.8 x 2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,413,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tami Brady TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 7 Oct. 2007
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 (beta) 11 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Consolidating much of what you know you *should* be doing... 30 Sept. 2006
By Thomas Duff - Published on
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
Great text for all webmasters! 18 Nov. 2006
By Rob Wehrli - Published on
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
Complete, Accurate & Easy to Follow! 1 Aug. 2006
By Richard W. Blakemore - Published on
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
Checklist Checkout 23 Sept. 2009
By Lösälgen - Published on
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
Pass these arguments to your buildSuccessfulWebsite() method! 5 Sept. 2007
By Ted Fitzpatrick - Published on
Format: Paperback
"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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