Web-based systems and applications (WebApps) deliver a complex array of content and functionality to a broad population of end-users. Web-engineering is the process that is used to create high-quality WebApps. Web engineering (WebE) is not a perfect clone of software engineering, but it borrows many of software engineering's fundamental concepts and principles, emphasizing the same technical and management activities.
There are subtle differences in the way these activities are conducted, but an overriding philosophy that dictates a disciplined approach to the development of a computer-based system is identical. The following topic categories are considered:

Characteristics of the Web

General Web Engineering Information

The WebE Process

Web Authoring Guides

Web Metrics


Characteristics of the Web


The Journal of Hyperlinked Organizations presents thought-provoking (sometime edgy) articles/opinion pieces on all topics Web-related.

IBM Institute for Advanced Commerce

The IBM Institute for Advanced Commerce provides a wide array of strategic guidance for entry into the e-commerce domain, a precursor to WebE.

History of the Web

A brief history provided by W3C.

The Future of the Web

A Powerpoint presentation on the "semantic Web."

The Semantic Web - A Primer

An article that describes one vision of the future of the WWW.

General Web Engineering Information

Web Engineering: Introduction and Perspectives (PDF)

An excellent, downloadable chapter that provides a good introduction and perspectives on Web Engineering. Highly recommended.

NASA WebApp Best Practices

NASA has developed a wide array of guidelines for Web site development. This page is a good starting point.

Cal State WebApp Best Practices

An overview of WebApp best practices developed by Cal State University.

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

W3C is an industry consortium that provides access to a wide variety of WWW information of interest to WebApp developers. Community Homepage

A centralized source for WebE information, this site is under development but already contains a set of useful pointers.

Wide array of information for Web engineers.

Microsoft Developers Network

Contains useful information on Microsoft related technologies for WebE.

Web Site Security Studies

A source of downloadable studies on internet security.

9th Intl WWW Conference papers

A useful collection of papers published at the conference.

11th Intl. WWW Conference papers

A useful collection of papers published at the conference.

Modern Web Programming

A java-centric view of future directions.

The WebE Process

WebE Process

Considers planning, design, production and maintenance with a number of subtopics. Recommended.

Best Practices

Discusses process and practices used within an industry WebE environment.

Rapid Web Development

How to create flexible sites quickly using standards like CSS and XHTML.

Web Authoring Guides

IEEE Web Publishing Guide

A reasonably thorough introduction to the planning, design and implementation of Web sites.

Guide to Web Style

This is a cookbook for helping people create better web pages has been created by Sun Microsystems.

Yale Web Style Guide

A comprehensive style guide. Recommended.

Web Metrics

Measuring User Experience

Suggest ways to assess a user experience with a WebApp.

NIST WebMetrics Testbed

"The objective of the NIST Web Metrics Testbed is to explore the feasibility of a range of tools and techniques that support rapid, remote, and automated testing and evaluation of website usability."

Dozens of sites offer help in developing business value metrics,e.g., measures of how many people visit a site , what pages are accessed, and other business specific information. The following sites are representative:


CMO Consulting Intl.


NUA Internet Surveys



Hundreds of books that discuss one or more Web engineering topics have been published in recent years, although relatively few address all aspects of Web engineering. Sarukkai (Foundations of Web Technology, Kluwar Academic Publishers, 2002) presents a worthwhile compilation of the technologies that are required for Web engineering. Murugusan and Deshpande (Web Engineering: Managing Diversity and Complexity of Web Development, Springer-Verlag, 2001) have edited a collection of useful papers on WebE. Proceedings of international conferences on Web Engineering and Web Information Systems Engineering are published yearly by the IEEE Computer Society Press.

Flor (Web Business Engineering, Addison-Wesley, 2000) discusses business analysis and related concerns that enable the Web engineer to better understand customer needs. Bean (Engineering Global E-commerce Sites, Morgan Kaufmann, 2003) present guidelines for the development of global WebApps. Lowe and Hall (Hypermedia and the Web: An Engineering Approach, Wiley, 1999) and Powell (Web Site Engineering, Prentice-Hall, 1998) provide reasonably complete coverage. Umar (Application Re-engineering: Building Web-based Applications and Dealing with Legacy Systems, Prentice-Hall, 1997) addresses one of the most difficult issues in WebE—the re-engineering of legacy systems to make them compatible with Web-based systems. IEEE Std. 2001-1999 defines basic Web engineering practices.