The Take Control ebook series specializes in explaining, and explaining well, various technical subjects. In this book, Steve Sande describes in careful, clear writing how to utilize Apple's iWeb '09 to build and maintain a good looking Web site. That's a more difficult task than one would expect, and Mr. Sande does a beautiful job.
There's a reason a book like this is so essential -- if done well. There are people who build Websites for a living. When using a professional tool every workday, some things just become second nature. However, for the rest of us for whom a family Website is an avocation, a tool needs to be easy to use when launches are few and far between.
And so, the last thing one wants to do is struggle with a professional-level Web site creation and maintenance tool that focuses on extreme detail. Rather, one wants to thumb to the right page, get refreshed on a few pointers, and make the desired changes.
That's exactly what Steve Sande does. Everything the average Mac user needs to know is presented in a logical, clear exposition. Information is easy to find, and step by step instructions are included. This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to fire up iWeb '09 and build a professional-looking personal or family Web site.
Here's what's covered.
- Getting started, terminology
- Why use iWeb '09
- Important differences in this new version
- Some history on how people have built Web sites
- Brief introduction to HTML
- How to install iWeb '09
- Creating your first site
- How to publish locally, to personal domain or MobileMe
- Working with various Web site elements: text, shapes, layers
- Uploading and embedding photos and movies
- Adding Website features: Blog, Twitter Feed, podcasts
- How to add Google AdSense to make money
- How to build an eCommerce Website
- How to get started with registering a domain, signing up for Web hosting
One of the things I love about these books, edited by Tanya Engst, is the focus and clarity. Like Joe Kissel's ebook on the Terminal and Command line, Steve Sande knows exactly what you need to know, and when you need to know it. Background is supplied, with restraint, only to make things clearer, not to bog the user down. Like other books in the series, the author has a sober attention to what you need to know -- in the right order -- a friendly, conversational style, and important items and warnings to note are set off in colored boxes.
This uniformity appears to be the benign oversight of the editor because many authors, even if they're quite technical, often lose sight of the essentials. The result is that they plough into their own agenda. Not so here. After reading this book, you'll sit back and wonder how you received so much attention to detail, so much knowledge, and so much clarity for a mere US$10.00.
For example, the author explains the convention of using Latin in templates. If you've ever wondered about that, Mr. Sande has the background. Also, on page 43, the author points out the features that aren't supported if you chose not to use MobileMe. On page 48, he explains Apple's oddball protocol for accessing server addresses. On page 122 is an important tidbit about the early frames of movies that are uploaded. Clearly, this is a fellow who's walked the path, shared his exasperations with iWeb in the past, and can wisely point the reader in the right direction.
The only editing snafu I found was on page 115 where the sense of the caption is reversed. Other than that, like other books in this series, the PDF is remarkably free from typos and grammar issues. More reason why this ebook is a bargain at $10.00.
Seldom do I feel that I've received much, much more than my money's worth. With the deadline looming (Jul 7, 2009) for the freeze of .Mac home page editing, now is a very good time get fired up with iWeb, fix one's Web site, and do it with a friendly tool like iWeb '09. This ebook is the perfect companion to make that task easy.