You need help. Whatever type of web site you manage, you need help. Sometimes you don’t need very much help, and just a hint will do, but sometimes you need blue flashing lights and sirens and a full emergency team of assistants. This book is intended to sit somewhere between those two extremes. It might provide the occasional hint here and there or it might have the information you need to avoid a full-scale emergency.
It is not intended to be a full-blown HTML or web design manual, nor does it presume to replace the acquisition of experience and knowledge over time. I do hope that it will be useful as a source book of ideas and suggestions, both to improve and enhance the performance and appearance of a site, and to assist in the ‘behind-the-scenes’ management that most web sites require.
Thanks to the generosity of the contributors, this book includes two types of expert advice: case studies and tips and tricks.
The case studies provide an insight into the way in which several well-known organisations have designed and developed their web sites. The organisations cover the spectrum from large to small, public to private sector, academic to commercial, and between them they deal with many of the key issues involved in designing, developing and maintaining a web site.
The tips and tricks are the essential nuggets of information that you pick up almost by accident at the water fountain, on a training course, at a conference, or simply chatting with colleagues. Any single tip might save you hours of effort, or help you avoid a critical error, and put together they provide you with the equivalent of several years of hard-won experience at the coalface of web development.
The book has been organised into six key sections, and the tips and tricks are located wherever they are most relevant. Most of the case studies, however, cover more than a single issue, so I have grouped them into