Writer and developer Patrick McNeil has written the ultimate guide for anyone planning a new website. His book, The Designer’s Web Handbook:what You need To Know To Create For The Web is written in a clear, conversational tone that makes planning your project a breeze from start to finish. You can read the whole book in an afternoon and McNeil’s carefully chosen examples help send his concepts and suggestions home. McNeil also does a great job of referencing and providing links to a great number of sources.
The book follows the natural progression of planning a site and conceptualizing content to thinking about design and production considerations to choosing a CMS to things you should think about when it comes to maintaining your site. His advice is sharp and practical and he points out a lot of details that can be easy for the newbie designer or developer to forget. He supports his theories with common sense and backs up suggestions with real world sites to check out. If nothing else, the resources McNeil shares are phenomenal.
The book, one of several by this author, is a culmination of topics and suggestions from his blog, Design Meltdown. It also includes four great extras in the appendixes, including a guide to understanding WordPress from teacher, designer and developer Jesse Friedman and a list of other books worth consideration.
This book is a must-have for anyone planning their first major website project. It would also be a great resource for anyone who is new to the world of websites, from maintaining and keeping up a site to thinking about a redesign. More experienced designers and developers can find use for the book as well – there are a lot of sites that could benefit from implementing some of McNeil’s suggestions.