Question by Geojont: Web design with css & xhtml…?
Hi everybody! I’m a “web designer” who doesn’t do it for a living or anything, but really enjoys building websites with Dreamweaver, WordPress, Expression Engine, Joomla, etc…

Anyway, I’m so stuck in “table-based design” and it’s obvious that the standard these days is “tableless design” with valid xhtml & css…

Sooo… I’m thinking about buying a book on the subject and hoping that all you experts out there can recommend a good one for me ’cause I can’t afford to spend a lotta $ on a bunch of books.

What would be a good book for a person with an average knowledge of html to take it to the next level????

Wow! Thanks for all the quick response!! I guess I should add the request for websites on the topic… Duh! How old school of me to ask for books!

Best answer:

Answer by ballance5702
Here is a good one for starters:

Good Luck!

Add your own answer in the comments!

3 thoughts on “Web design with css & xhtml…?”

  1. I just finished writing a book on exactly this topic.

    HTML / XHTML All in One for Dummies teaches exactly what you’re talking about.

    I start from the beginning with solid XHTML strict by hand, teaching solid fundamentals. Although you really don’t need Dreamweaver any more, there are editors that can help you create great code. I recommend (and include) aptana, a high-end open-source programmer’s editor. Aptana has several features that make it a great editor:
    It has code completion (begin typing HTML or CSS code and it gives you a list of legal code values you can pick from)
    It also features syntax coloring, which displays different parts of your code in different colors.
    It recognizes potential errors on the fly, marking them so you can see problems before you even look in the editor.

    After careful coverage of XHTML, I show how to style your pages using the powerful CSS language. First I describe how to handle colors text, manipulation, borders, and the like through CSS, and then I lead you through CSS-based markup. Once you understand how CSS works, you’ll see why tables are considered old-fashioned. You’ll be able to make floating layouts, layered menus, and positioned layouts.

    You’ll learn how to build XHTML / CSS pages that adhere to the strictest standards, and get some tools and tricks for ensuring your pages conform to those standards.

    By the time you get through the third mini-book (of eight) you’ll already be quite an accomplished web developer, but I wanted to write a book that would take you beyond the basics. If you’ve been in the web world for long, you’re no doubt curious about the programming side of things.

    Book four covers the JavaScript language. Even if you’ve never programmed before, you’ll be able to create useful programs embedded in your web pages. You’ll learn to validate form data, get input from forms, and even animate your pages with JavaScript code.

    The real action today happens on the server, so I explain how to get started in the PHP server-side programming language. I give you everything you need to start programming in PHP on the CD-ROM that comes with the book. You’ll learn how to respond to user input, save files on the server, and connect to databases.

    Data is of course the driving force on the Internet today, so book six describes the popular and powerful MySQL relational database manager. (Included with the CD-ROM, of course) I take you through the SQL language and show how to build basic databases, then move beyond the basics to data normalization, the skill you use to model complex data relationships.

    The hottest area on the Internet right now is AJAX, a technology that brings together client-side and server-side programming. I include a mini-book on AJAX including how to build an AJAX connection by hand as well as using the (you guessed it; included) jQuery library to simplify your AJAX programming and get some stunning interactivity and special effects for your page.

    The last mini-book covers practical aspects of getting your site running: How to install a server, how to choose an external host, how to plan large projects, how to build content-management systems, and much more.

    The book is available in most bookstores, and online at Amazon and other outlets. It’s actually not too expensive, considering it’s over 900 pages of goodies.

    It’s also written in the relaxed Dummies style. I’m not trying to impress anybody with how smart I am in this book. I just want to show you some really fun stuff I’ve learned over the years. Most have found the style to be engaging and informative.

    You’re welcome to look over the web page for the book, which has all the example code from the book, at

    Let me know if you need any help (my email address is included in the book)

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