Do these three statements sound like you?
- I am able to use a computer efficiently but when it comes to the web, my knowledge is limited.
- I want to learn how to make a decent web site without having to learn about code.
- I do not want to spend very much money.
If that sounds like you, then this book could be right up your alley. It is definitely not for the experienced webmaster or web developer, as you will have already known most of what is included in this book.
Cheap Web Tricks! assumes that you know nothing or very little from the very start. So, it is best suited for the extreme beginner.
It covers every concept that I can think of, but it often covers them in a brief way, that might leave some of you saying “I want to learn more.” I guess, the old adage of always leaving people wanting more, applies here. The purpose of the book is to brief you on how to create a decent web site, not to teach you how everything works – and it does accomplish this.
The book is divided into 5 sections. So, let me give you a look at each part.
Part I: Building Your Web Site
This opening part goes over the beginning stages of planning your web site. Do you have a mission plan? If you don’t, you’ll be getting one. Next is a description of various types of Internet connections, so that you can make that decision, if you haven’t already done so. To maintain a web site, you need an Internet connection.
After that, you will find yourself choosing both a web host and the tools to create and maintain your site, including HTML editors, FTP programs and graphics tools.
You are now given a basic look at web site structure and design concepts. This is followed by a crash course in HTML, so that you will have a general idea of how your pages work. This section reviews the most widely used and popular HTML tags and their attributes.
Also discussed is organization for the webmaster. This includes keeping your files organized, keeping your HTML neat and tidy and backing up your web site. This section concludes with tutorials on the use of FTP.
By the end of this section, you should have a basic idea of how to create a simple web site.
Part II: Promoting Your Web Site
It is now time to promote your work. The first step is getting it listed on the most popular search engines. The opening section of this section reviews many popular concepts, such as meta tags, robots, paid listings and how to utilize them all to your advantage.
As you may know by now, the book is based on doing a bunch of things, without spending a dime, so keeping with that theme, we have a list of no cost promotion tips, tricks and techniques. These include ad swapping, web rings, award programs, free for all links pages, press releases, newsgroups, mailing lists and signatures.
After you’ve done all that, the ending of this section tells you how to evaluate your progress and how to keep tabs on your promotion efforts.
This section is full of practical and free strategies to follow that are sure to help a new web site get off of the ground, promotion wise.
Part III: Making a Profit
One of the goals of your web site will probably be to make a profit of some sort.
This section opens with information on affiliate programs. How they work, how to select a suitable program for your web site, what to do after you sign up and what your expectations should be. You can’t just slap some code on your web site and expect to make money, that isn’t how it works. You have to place the affiliate links in attractive areas that will make users want to click them.
Are you planning to directly sell a product or service? Discover how to display your products on the web, how to take orders, and what payment methods to accept and how to accept them, as well as a few basic customer service principles.
If you are a content site, you will probably want to sell advertising. You will need to know the types of web site advertising that exist and how they are priced. You will also need an ad serving program or an ad rotator. It might also be a good idea to join an advertising network. The “Selling Advertising on Your Web Site” chapter will help you to make these decisions.
Do you want to sell your web site? The last chapter of this section will help you to determine if you have a salable property, how to find and approach perspective buyers and what to do once you have a buyer.
Part IV: Building on Your Success
Once you have your web site going, it isn’t over. You have to change it, update it and add things to it on a regular basis to keep it fresh and attractive to visitors. If you don’t, most users will not be back to see stale content over and over again.
This section of the book will help you find some “goodies” or scripts, that you can add to your web site. These include discussion forums, visitor polls, chat rooms, news feeds, free e-mail, search tools and other things.
Starting an e-mail newsletter can also be a great way to promote and enhance your web site. By e-mailing subscribers, they will be reminded of your site’s existence and will come back to see what’s new. Find out how to format your newsletter and what software to run it with.
This will be, by far, the most fun chapter for most of you. It is always fun to add new and interesting features to your web site.
Part V: References
Just as it sounds, this final part includes information that you may want to go back and reference from time to time. It includes a quick reference of HTML and a glossary of web development and business related terms.
At times, this book will leave you a little confused as to what to do next, but most of the book is very, very easy to understand. I was not extremely pleased with the quality of the content of the book. That said, this will be a very helpful book for beginners, and at $13.99 it is an excellent value.
Title: Cheap Web Tricks! Build and Promote a Successful Web Site Without Spending a Dime
Author: Anne Martinez
Publisher: Osborne McGraw Hill
Buy it at Amazon for $13.99.
About the Author:
Patrick owns the iFroggy Network, which includes iFroggy Design, iFroggy Hosting, iFroggy Domains, SportsForums.net, QuickZip, phpBBHacks.com, KarateForums.com and PhotoshopForums.com. Patrick is also a moderator on WebDevForums.com.