Learning Web Design: A Beginner’s Guide to (X)HTML, StyleSheets, and Web Graphics [ILLUSTRATED] (Paperback)
by Jennifer Niederst Robbins (Author), Aaron Gustafson (Technical Editor)
O’Reilly Publishing, 2007
Learning Web Design by Jennifer Niederest Robbins is billed as “A Beginners Guide to (X)HTML, Style Sheets and Web Graphics.” It lives up to its billing. It is structured as a text book, building a knowledge base chapter by chapter. For those working through the book as a tutorial, there are plenty of exercises that reinforce the skills you’ve acquired. Each chapter includes appropriate exercises and a “Test Yourself” section. Extra material is offered through the book’s accompanying website.
I’ve watched this book evolve through the first two editions. The first was okay, the second pretty good and finally in the third edition is something that I can fully endorse. After going through the material, there should be very little in the way of HTML and CSS coding that won’t make sense.
- Part 1 – Getting Started: Where Do I Start?; How the Web Works; The Nature of Web Design
- Part 2 – HTML Markup for Structure: Creating a Simple Page (HTML Overview); Marking up Text; Adding Links; Adding Images; Basic Table Markup; Forms; Understanding the Standards
- Part 3 – CSS For Presentation: Cascading Style Sheets Orientation; Formatting Text (Plus More Selectors); Colors and Backgrounds (Plus Even More Selectors and External Style Sheets); Thinking Inside the Box (Padding, Borders, and Margins); Floating and Positioning; Page Layout with CSS; CSS Techniques
- Part 4 – Creating Web Graphics: Web Graphics Basics; Lean and Mean Web Graphics
- Part 5 – From Start to Finish: The Site Development Process; Getting Your Pages on the Web
- Appendix A – Answers; Appendix B – CSS 2.1 Selectors; Index
As you can see from the contents, this is a nuts and bolts text that teaches the proper coding of websites and emphasizes best practices and web standards. It mentions some software that you could use to build sites but doesn’t teach programs. It is quite up-to-date and presents very modern web building practices. Even those who have built sites in the past will find this an excellent refresher that will bring web skills into the 21st century.
As both a training text and a basic reference book Learning Web Design is an excellent resource that will give those who actually use it a solid foundation in modern web page building practices.