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***Poor Richard's Web Site

Geek-Free, Commonsense Advice on Building a Low-Cost Web Site

by Peter Kent

Reviewed October 2, 2003.
2nd edition, Top Floor Publishing, Lakewood, CO, 2000.  422 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (025.04 KEN).

The library just received this book, so I took it home to see if I could gain any tips for improving my website.

This book doesn’t really give the practical details of working with HTML that the other books did.  Instead, the author discusses different web-authoring tools and recommends that you use Microsoft Frontpage and buy another book to learn how to use it.  (I find it interesting that none of the books mentioned Netscape Composer, which is the tool that I used and can be downloaded for free.)

The author says that Frontpage is a good tool because it is easy to add interactive elements to your site, such as forms and discussion boards.  I admit that that would be nice (though I’ve been able to add forms with Yahoo add-ons), but I’m glad that I didn’t think I had to spend a hundred dollars on such a thing before I got started.

This book mostly focuses on other details, like whether you really need a web site, finding a web host and choosing a domain name.  His section on creating a web site looks hard at web site design, and has some good ideas for principles of building an effective web site, which need to be considered before you try to figure out precisely how to do it.  There’s also an extensive section on web site promotion, with some of the same ideas as were found in Cheap Web Tricks, as well as some new ones.

This book would be especially helpful for someone with a small business planning to add a web presence to their company.

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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