Web Dev Books I’ve Been Reading39
I’ve stacked up a fair few design, development and marketing/business books in the past few months. In this post, I want to share with you the ones I’ve enjoyed most, in case you’re looking to improve your knowledge in any of these areas too.
Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics
This book is very much a “how to do everything” in Google Analytics. I can’t think of anything it has left out. It’s a great read if you’re looking to take your usage of Google Analytics further than just tracking your overall visitors and where they came from.
From setting up automatic mailings, to drilling down into the data more carefully, to setting goals and monetizing (even non e-commerce sites), this was a great read. Highly recommended!
Book site: Advanced Web Metrics
WordPress 3.0 jQuery
A lot of people get into web development by setting up WordPress, tinker ingwith their theme, and growing from there. If that sounds like you, then this book’s angle on things will suit you perfectly.
It doesn’t assume any experience, or get caught up in detail. Instead, it’s a collection of simple scripts that combine WordPress and jQuery steps for useful effects, e.g. post sliders, loading content by AJAX etc.
All in all, an easy-to-follow introduction to jQuery.
Book Site: Packt Publishing
24 Ways Annual
Every year in December, 24 experts from the web design world submit articles on cutting edge technologies and techniques. The articles are fantastic, but it takes a lot of time to read a long post daily. And when Decembers gone, I forget about the ones I’ve missed.
This year, the series was published in an annual as well, which I snapped up. The stunning full-color print alone made this worth it. If you missed the annual this year, keep an eye out this December, and until then, you can still read the articles on the 24 Ways site.
Book site: 24 Ways
The Blue Lady’s New Look
This book deals with great design in marketing and branding. What sets this book apart is the quality of the examples. Every double-page spread follows a specific format; text on the right, and a full-size example photo on the left.
It’s this constant use of examples to back up the author’s arguments that make this a great read. I find that too much marketing advice is very general and unspecific, but seeing clear cut examples here made it all easy to picture and consider myself.
I wasn’t going to include this book because by now, everyone should have read it. It rocks. Rework is 37 Signal’s collection wisdom snippets. The book covers everything from managing a project efficiently, to hiring staff, to cutting clutter and focusing on what’s important.
They’re common themes if you’ve been following them over the years, but the incredibly concise format of this book makes it completely worth buying. Aside from that, it’s great getting to read a picture book again!
Book site: Rework
Back on the marketing front; Speak Human is for small businesses like yours and mine. The book revolves around the idea that as a small company, you can be more personal and offer better service to your customers.
At no point does it tell you to go head to head with the big guys (It explains very clearly why you shouldn’t do this). Instead, the advice focuses on the areas you can succeed in, and the anecdotes along the way made this a very enjoyable read for me.
Book site: Speak Human
The thing about Wired is that you never know what you’re going to get. I love how each time I flip a page, I could be looking at anything from scientific experiments, to car engine specs, to behavioral studies.
It’s this breadth of topics that makes it so worthwhile.
The next two books on my list were an easy choice; the Smashing Book 2, and Professional WordPress Plugin Development (Due out in a week! Update from Ozh – Turns out it’s already out in the US! Just us UK-ers have to wait a bit longer!)
Smashing Magazine is a site that you’re all already familiar with. I bought their first book last year and the format is very much like their site; in-depth articles from a wide range of authors on a wide range of web design topics. If you enjoy the site, it’s a safe bet that you’ll enjoy the book.
The title of Professional WP Plugin Development sums the book up well enough on its own. The thing to note here is the authors; Ozh Richard, Justin Tadlock and Brad Williams. Some of the very best WP developers and writers out there, so you can bet this book is going to be fantastic. I can’t wait!
But after that, what then? I’d love to hear what you have enjoyed reading! My Amazon account is ready and waiting, so let me know!
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