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Review Website Optimization

Discussion in 'Articles, Reviews and Interviews' started by tripwire45, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Author: Andrew B. King
    Format: Paperback, 394 pages
    Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Inc. ( July 15, 2008 )
    ISBN-10: 0596515081
    ISBN-13: 978-0596515089

    Review by James Pyles
    August 25, 2008

    Ok, let's get past the buzz word "optimization". It seems like just a ton of goods and services have been sold over the years, that have promised to "optimize" this or that. Working with "optimization" is like working with "synergy". It's not that the words or concepts are bad or ineffective; it's just that the terms have been overused (Anybody remember your "Inner Child"?). Let's remember that Andrew King's 2003 book Speed Up Your Site "kicked ass" back in the day and that its subtitle is "Web Site Optimization". Does lightning strike twice in the same spot? There's one way to find out. Read on.

    Oh gosh. This could be trouble. Get what the Foreword says (written by Jim Sterne) about the book, "...brings together the science, the art, and the business of Internet marketing in a complete way..." Yowza! That's a wide scope. If you're looking for a book about how to make your web pages load faster or how to add really cool JavaScript effects, maybe this isn't the book for you. The book refers to a website as an "online investment". This isn't your little family website where you get to share your photos of your summer vacation. Website Optimization is a book that makes a business case for a company's web presence and how best to use the web as a profit generating tool.

    That may sound pretty harsh to those of you who love the art of web design or who love the technical "nuts and bolts" of web design. You mean this stuff has to pay, too? Well, yes. That's reflected in the "Who Should Read This Book" section of the Preface. The target audience includes web marketers, web developers, and managers. In fact, the Preface goes so far as to specify on which aspects of the book each audience type should focus. In other words, depending on who you are and why you're attracted to this book, you might not end up reading all of it. Instead, you might end up buying copies for your team and have each member review the selections aimed particularly at their role.

    King's book reads a little like a marriage manual that blows past the honeymoon and talks about how to make a relationship last a lifetime. In other words, it's not romantic, but it's "real". To give you an example, Part I is called "Search Engine Marketing Optimization". Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about getting Google to rank your site very, very high when someone does a search related to your business. Yeah, that's an amazing oversimplification on my part, but rest assured, King goes into exquisite detail on the matter. In fact, if I were teaching a class on the business aspects of the web, King's book would be my textbook. It's written like one and, although not stated in the Preface, I suspect that venues from the corporate training room to the university classroom are also places where this book could find a readership.

    Where Part I drills down into the corporate marketing strategy for a website, Part II, "Web Performance Optimization", draws attention to the web development side of the street. Terms such as "CSS", "JavaScript", "AJAX", and "HTTP Requests" fill this part of the book, so the web developers who are reading this review can take some comfort. The nature and tone of the book remains the same in that it's a teaching tool, rather than an artist's guide. This is website development for the designer who needs to sell the plan to "the boss" based on what it'll do for the business.

    Andrew King's book is for the manager who needs to understand the value of a corporate web presence, how it affects business, how it acts as a marketing tool, and how to get the most out of their "dot com". The book is also for the web designer who needs to understand the best practices for using the various technologies to create a site that meets corporate goals and purpose. You, the designer, must already be well versed in your craft, so HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AJAX, and so on, are the things you eat, sleep, and breathe. If you're just learning all that, put this book away and come back in a few years.

    If you are a professional, either in marketing, management, or web development, and you want and need to understand how to make your company's website stand out above the crowd, Andrew King's "Website Optimization" is an "answer-in-a-box" to all the questions you have about merging the business and the craft of websites. Bonus material is included at the book's companion website.
     
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  2. LukeP

    LukeP Gigabyte Poster

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    Thanks for the review James.

    I am going to get myself a copy. Thanks

    Luke
     
    WIP: Uhmm... not sure
  3. LordMoolyBap

    LordMoolyBap Nibble Poster

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    Thanks for the review. I will add to my wish list.

    Dom
     
    Certifications: HND (Comp) MBCS
    WIP: Msc Intelligent Systems
  4. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    You're welcome.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  5. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Hello James! :D
     
  6. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Hi there. :)
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+

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