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Secrets of Successful Web Sites
by David Siegal

Secrets of Successful Web Sites

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.

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