Chad Warner's Reviews > Web Design All-In-One for Dummies

Web Design All-In-One for Dummies by Sue Jenkins
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's review
Feb 05, 2011

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bookshelves: non-fiction, web-design
Read in February, 2011 , read count: 1

A simple, visual reference for beginning web designers. Five books in one, covering many areas related to web design, including planning, designing, graphics, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, web standards, testing, hosting, and search engine optimization.

In her examples, the author uses Dreamweaver for web design and Photoshop for graphic design, but the lessons apply regardless of the tools you use. I especially liked business tips that appear throughout the book, regarding contracts, pricing, project management, and customer relations. These topics are more important for the self-employed web designer than a web designer within a company.

I was bored by the extended coverage of tables. There were many good examples of CSS. The chapter on SEO was my favorite, as it debunked myths and explained what actually works.

Web project phases
Planning: define goals, content, requirements
Contract: create signed document specifying payment, deadlines, deliverables
Design: understand target audience; mock up layout
Building: create functional site with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc.
Testing: test with popular operating systems and browsers; validate code
Launch: register domain; buy hosting; publish site
Maintenance: add and update content and design

Create a contract similar to the Premium Web Development contract.
Get a 25% deposit before starting the job.
Include a revision clause in the contract, stating the number of included revisions. Bill for additional revisions.
Get written approval for the sitemap, mockup, and final site.
Have the client review the test site and sign off before going live.
Stipulate that the client is responsible for the accuracy and substance of content.

Web standards and testing
Follow accessibility guidelines to make the site more usable to disabled people and search engines.
Validate links, HTML/XHTML, and CSS.
Test in major browsers and operating systems (OSs).

SEO (search engine optimization)
Unethical and/or useless SEO techniques
keyword padding
keyword listing
tag padding
image padding
hidden text
oversubmitting to search engines
duplicate page submissions

SEO techniques
Include keywords in text.
Link keywords to other pages in the site.
Stress keywords with headings, bold, and italics.
Use keywords in title and alt tags.
Use meta tags, especially Description. Keywords isn't used by most engines.
Make page titles complete, informative, keyword-rich sentences.
Create a sitemap and link to it from the footer and head of HTML.
Add a Google Custom Search Engine to the site.
Add breadcrumb navigation.

Additional notes
The site should explain the benefits of the client's products or services to their ideal visitor.
The client isn't always right. If they make unreasonable requests, explain why the idea is bad, then offer alternatives.
Make images as small as possible (10 KB or less, or 30 KB for larger graphics).
The author recommends Lunarpages for domain registration and hosting.
Designate a day for site updates. Have clients send a list of all updates at once, rather than sending as they think of them.
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Daniel I wanted to write my own review on this, but then I figured out you basically covered everything I could have said. Thank you :)

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