You’re standing in the bookstore, wondering what to think of all the computer
books, let alone all the books on HTML or Web design in general. Maybe you
are a seasoned IT professional without much Web experience, and you’re looking
for a no-nonsense, direct approach to a specific topic. Or perhaps your area of
interest is not information technology, but you’re looking to take your particular
topic to the Web by building a Web site for your small business, school, or
nonprofit organization. Or maybe you have any one of the many other good
reasons to build a Web site.Whatever the case, you are holding this book in your
hands because you have a desire to work with HTML and, as a result, the Web.
Compared to even a few years ago, it is a good time to be jumping into the
HTML arena. Despite the relatively recent “dot com” bust, the Web is still a vital
mechanism for delivering information and doing business. Indeed, many
businesses—having learned from the failures of the dot coms—are taking the
best of the Web and integrating it with their internal processes to build exciting
and productive methods of doing business. Large-scale CRM (Customer
Relationship Management) applications and enterprise-level productivity suites
are leveraging the power of the Web to bring real-time information to customers,
field sales personnel, and inside business units. The result is the delivery of
information on demand, along with users’ growing expectations of such delivery.
Another result is information representative of larger, inclusive processes (in
other words, a snapshot of a company’s functioning across various departments).
Maybe your interest in HTML isn’t quite that advanced; perhaps you are looking
to build a functional, easy-to-use Web site for your nonprofit small business or
school. If that is the case, then have no fear; this book is relevant for you, too.
Because no matter what type of information you are looking to empower via the
Web, some basic design principles apply to every Web site. This book will
highlight those principles by focusing on the tools used to deliver them
(hyperlinks, forms, tables, frames, cascading style sheets, and so on). Moreover,
the projects in this book will highlight the practical application of these tools and
design principles across a variety of different applications, from nonprofit Web
sites to small business Web sites.