HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites

[wpramazon asin="1118008189" keyword="Coding"]

3 comments

  1. 100 of 107 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A Complete Introduction, January 1, 2012
    By 
    Mike Wallace (Sacramento, CA United States) -
    (VINE VOICE)
      

    This review is from: HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites (Paperback)
    Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
    I found this book very useful. I am a WordPress user and a cut and paste coder, who is still struggling with understanding CSS. This book starts with the basics of web design, HTML, and CSS; and ends with wire-framing, design tips, SEO, and analytics. The author is somehow able to present a wide variety of information in a clear and precise way, with large graphics and illustrations that break everything down into digestible sections.

    Unlike the Dummy books, which are very simplistic and leave you with just a vague overview. This book will take a novice and beyond, and fill in the gaps and make somewhat dry coding information simple and easy to understand. The information is presented in a clear, easy to understand format. With the help of this book, CSS is finally starting to make sense.

    This book is not only useful for the beginner, or web publisher that is used to using WordPress, it also makes a great reference with an easy to use index and list of CSS properties and HTML elements. This is the exact book I needed.

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  2. 131 of 137 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Great for Beginners, or to Update Skills, January 19, 2012
    By 
    Rebecca Haden (Fayetteville, AR) -
    (VINE VOICE)
      

    This review is from: HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites (Paperback)
    Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
    I want to admire this book first as a book. People who want to learn how to make quilts or soups or jewelry have plenty of gorgeous books for inspiration, but books for people who want to make websites are often visually dull, even ugly. Duckett, when he fills a page with code, also gives you a photo of how that code will render on a monitor, and the pictures are just as nice as those glamor shots of butternut squash soup. The whole book is attractively designed and laid out. It's also color coordinated so you can easily track down the turquoise(html) or hot pink (css) summaries or chocolate brown background info.

    That background info is very nicely done. Each page spread is like a poster clarifying things like what exactly a left-angle bracket is or just exactly how forms work. Many books in the field assume that all their readers know this stuff already, and a book for web designers that spent much time on defining serif vs. sans-serif fonts would be frustrating for most designers. This book sequesters basic info so old hands can skip it and beginners can readily find it again, as well as making it clear and memorable.

    Half the book examines HTML, looking at structure, text, links, images, tables, forms, "Extra Markeup" such as comments and metadata, and multimedia elements. Each element is explained clearly with good examples, and HTML5 is included. The presentation is economical and straightforward, but lots of information is included: things like animated gifs and how to communicate with older browsers aren't often included in books suited to beginners.

    The second half of the book introduces CSS, HTML5 layout, and "Practical Information" like how to tell who's coming to your site and how to organize information into a website.

    The author intends this book for people learning how to build websites (and it's certainly the best book I've seen to get you started) and for people who use a content management system like WordPress but want more control over their sites. I think it also will be very useful for people who learned HTML and CSS in the past and want to get more up to date. We often see sites built with outdated code because the owners can't bring themselves to go through the learning process again. I get that -- I took a class in HTML and it was probably slightly less creative and exciting than basic statistics class. This book isn't like that. It's clear and enjoyable, and you can download all the code from the author's website if you really hate typing it.

    I highly recommend this book.

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  3. 279 of 290 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Excellent introduction to web development, December 16, 2011
    By 
    Nicholas C. Zakas (Silicon Valley, CA) -

    This review is from: HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites (Paperback)
    My first impression of the book is that it's beautiful. The text is large and the pages are colorful, making it very easy to thumb through when in a hurry. When I wasn't in a hurry and sat down to read it, I found that the book almost told the entire story through pictures. The words are there and technically correct, but it's the visuals in the book that really communicate information to the reader.

    I admired Duckett's approach to this book. He completely dispels with the buzzwords that glitter so many books these days. There's mention of HTML5 and CSS3, for sure, but it's done in such a way that it doesn't seem gimmicky or hyped. The title of the book itself is evidence of this. Duckett clearly doesn't want you thinking about HTML 4 vs. HTML5 or CSS 2 vs. CSS3. Instead, he wants you to understand the concepts that link together web technology and good design. Some of that is done with HTML 4 and CSS 2 while some is done with HTML5 and CSS3.

    This book is really targeted at beginners without a technical background, and it does an exceptional job in serving this audience. The approach is perhaps the gentlest introduction to the concept of web programming that I've ever encountered. So gentle, in fact, I think that almost anyone could pick up this book and start to make a simple web page relatively quickly. It takes you right from creating your HTML file with a text editor, through learning HTML and CSS, all the way to deploying your file and adding Google Analytics.

    Sprinkled throughout the book are useful tidbits about typography, contrast, design concepts, and even how multimedia plugins such as Flash work in conjunction with a web page. The very visual nature of the book makes picking up these concepts easy, as every piece of code is accompanied with a diagram, figure, or screenshot showing the result.

    If you're an experienced web developer, you'll probably want to pass on this book since it will be far too basic. However, if you're looking for a good book to introduce web development to an inexperienced web developer, or even someone who has no experience, then this book is a great place to start.

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