Thinking Web: Voices of the Community

By Sarah Hawk
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Early in 2010 a forum staff member suggested to me that we do something to tap into the vast wealth of knowledge lying dormant in the SitePoint community. The answer was obvious – a collaborative book. A committee was formed and the project was up and running before I had time to stop and think. A year and a lot of work later, I am proud to be able to launch the fruits of our labor – a collaborative book by the SitePoint Community, which we have entitled Thinking Web: Voices of the Community.

Cover - Thinking Web

The digital book is free to download and you can find out what it’s all about by reading the outline below. I am proud to have been at the helm of the project and to call myself manager of the community from which it came.

Preface – Sarah Hawk (Community Manager)

Chapter 1 – Anatomy of a Website by Ralph Mason
Ralph’s chapter looks at the building blocks of a website, from hosting through to favicons, with everything in between. If you are new to the world of web, then this is the article for you.

Chapter 2 – Designing in the Dark by Alex Dawson
Alex examines the ideas of web accessibility and talks you through the process of identifying your audience and ensuring that your sites meet their needs and expectations.

Chapter 3 – Everything Must Go by Alex Dawson
Alex is back, this time discussing the concepts of web accessibility in more detail. If you want some practical advice to ensure that your sites work for everyone, then this is a must read.

Chapter 4 – Going Freelance by John Borda
You might be the best web developer in the world, but if no one knows that then it’s of very little use to you. John looks at some of the things that a freelancer can do in order to make a successful career in the cutthroat world of web development.

Chapter 5 – Successful PSD to HTML Freelancing by Paul O’Brien
In this chapter, CSS expert Paul talks about the intricacies of quoting on and carrying out a PSD to HTML conversion job. He points out some of the pitfalls and explains how to avoid them.

Chapter 6 – Write Email Markup That Doesn’t Explode in the Inbox by Coyote Holmberg
If writing electronic newsletters is something that is on your radar then this article by Coyote will be invaluable. In it she discusses the dos and don’ts of writing HTML emails from the design stage right through to the sending.

Chapter 7 – Make Your Website Stand Out from the Crowd by Ursula Comeau
Social media has become so commonplace that it can’t be ignored if you want your business to succeed and Ursula explains how important social media and blogging can be to your website and your online marketing strategy.

Chapter 8 – Information Organization and the Web by Sherry Curry
You might have the most valuable information on the planet on your website, but if it is hard to navigate then the chances of people giving up before they ever get to it are great. Sherry talks about good strategies for organising and labeling your information so that it is accessible and easy to find.

Chapter 9 – Using Vector Graphics to Build a Noughts & Crosses Game by Clive Wickham
In this tutorial, Clive outlines how you can easily build a simple game of Noughts & Crosses using interactive vector graphics and explores two ways of presenting it, via SVG and HTML5 Canvas.

Chapter 10 – Efficient Actionscript by Christian Snodgrass
Christian examines a selection of some of the more useful Actionscript tips, tricks and techniques for use in mid-to-large projects.

Chapter 11 – Databases : The Basic Concepts by Nuria Zuazo
Databases are a must for any dynamic site and some basic knowledge is necessary to make the most of your database. In this article, Nuria looks at some of the intricacies of the modern day database and how you can harness its power in your own sites.

Chapter 12 – The Iceberg of TCP/IP by Robert Wellock
Robert skims the surface of the massive subject that is TCP/IP and looks at a selection of protocols focusing on what is most relevant to
web design or general home computing.

If you are interested in reading more about this project; how it came about and what went down, then keep an eye out for the June issue of the Community Crier (out next week) or this blog in the coming week.

Get your free copy now!

We teamed up with SiteGround
To bring you the latest from the web and tried-and-true hosting, recommended for designers and developers. SitePoint Readers Get Up To 65% OFF Now
  • ditcht

    sounds awesome! gona read through it as soon as I can! thanks!

  • ditcht

    also I would just like to add; ive discovered this website recently (like 3 days ago); i am a total fan! your articles are great! :)

  • Fantastic. Nothing like a new fan! Welcome on board. :)

  • Alex Dawson

    Yay, Wonderful to see it launched! :-)

    Time well spent Sarah!

  • mattymcg

    Congrats to all contributors! Nice one.

  • Anonymous

    Great job!! Thank you so much nice to have all this information in one place.

  • Ursula

    Yay!! Very excited to see it launched!! :D

    Thanks to the SitePoint team (especially you Sarah) for all the effort and support!

  • xhtmlcoder

    Hurray for Thinking Web, an honest book that wasn’t overhyped with flashy marketing gimmicks; outrageous promises or marketing promotions prior to its release…

    Better still, grabbing a copy and reading: Thinking Web: Voices of the Community won’t cost you a single penny. :D

    I’d have truly say this book is probably by far the most informative book publication I have read from SitePoint this year! Thinking Web is a “breath of fresh air” not going over or rehashing the same monotonous topics or latest “web fad” publishers seem to want to sell to you.

    The book itself is still fairly organic, just like a good Forum Community, it might lack a little in the slick polish of the individual Chapter diagrams or illustrations but that doesn’t detract from the content…

    In fact that slight roughness makes it “standout” in some ways; it doesn’t need a completely uniformed look, it shows soul and individuality of the contributing authors (as the diagrams were supplied by the authors themselves). That factor shows that the contributors of the book have created their own work with what skillets and tools they had at their disposal, which is also commendable.

    Like this blog mentions, it was a collaborative book and by-and-large the content for the book was chosen by the SitePoint Forum Community for the forum community itself.

    tap into the vast wealth of knowledge lying dormant in the SitePoint community

    Is a phrase that resonates and this book has managed to do that. Hence the nice balance; from the few chapters that finally made it through all the stages to reach the finished product.

    I can guarantee you’ll all learn something new from the Thinking Web book chapters that you didn’t know before if you read it cover-to-cover. If you garner nothing new, I’d eat my code… you can post here if you agree with my statements. ;-)

    Had someone told me a few years back say 2009, I’d have made a major contribution to writing SitePoint book I’d have probably offhandedly laughed. Though when I heard of the offer on the table I thought why not; ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ and why ‘don’t look a gift horse in the mouth’ sort of thing… everyone has at least one good book in themselves.

    Well, here I sit today still my unassuming casual clothes but I can honestly say it has been a great pleasure and learning experience writing my “Iceberg” chapter. I’ll also like to thank the people and close friends that helped me with my grammar and feedback during the draft editing (they know who they are). ;-)

    This eBook can be rightfully classed as truly AX3S0ME for what it has achieved, and who knows there might be another SitePoint Community book release in the future? :D

    I hope you’ll get some enjoyment, like I have from reading the chapters…


    Robert Wellock

  • Greg Scafide

    Thanks Hawk!

    … and all those who provided valuable time and experience in putting this “overview” of website design/creation. I look forward to reading it and hopefully gain new insight. For your dedication and selfless energies I thank you!


    Greg S.

  • Sharon.

    Wow this looks like a great mix of information, will enjoy the read & no doubt learn lots of new stuff! Congratulations Sarah and the team on a great idea & for all your hard work. Sitepoint is awesome!

  • I teach Webmastering at a very small charter school in Texas. I have no book and no real curriculum. That is, until now. This book, at first glance, appears to be exactly what I have been looking for since I started teaching this course 3years ago!

    Thank you SitePoint Community.


  • congrats :) great to see it launched