Helpful books and literature on Web designing (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL, Perl).

Books on Web Designing


You can find a lot of online tutorials on every aspect of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Perl and the like. But, if you are a beginner, you won't get very far trying to learn the stuff from them alone. You won't see the forest because the trees are in the way - too much detail without a big picture. Good books focus on the big picture of how and why to do something. They also show multiple approaches to the same problem and compare them so that you can get an idea of the alternatives and trade-offs.

Many Sitepoint books are mentioned on this page. Sitepoint (both the books and the website) is an excellent resource for quick learning of the latest and greatest Web designing technologies. I have been a long time Sitepoint reader and they have never disappointed me.

HTML & CSS, Web design

HTML: A Beginner's Guide, Second Edition
by Wendy Willard

This is a great book that provides a solid starting point for beginners who have no programming experience. It will help you learn HTML as quickly and as painlessly as possible.


The Ultimate HTML Reference
by Ian Lloyd

This is a comprehensive resource for mastering HTML covering every element and attribute in the HTML and XHTML specifications, including an example of its correct use. If this book can't answer your question - from browser compatibility to syntax, then no book can!


The Ultimate CSS Reference
by Tommy Olsson, Paul O'Brien

A complete and thorough and up-to-date reference guide for CSS. It includes all the ins-and-outs you need to know including compatability information for all major browsers, lists of useful hacks, known bugs in CSS, and much more.


HTML Utopia: Designing Without Tables Using CSS
by Rachel Andrew and Daniel Shafer

This book is a comprehensive guide to learning and applying the principles of CSS to your website. It also includes the complete CSS property reference with over 150 CSS properties described.


The CSS Anthology: 101 Essential Tips, Tricks & Hacks
by Rachel Andrew

This is a practical guide on CSS with lots of real world examples, tips and tricks designed to work in a cross platform setting. It describes 101 problems with solutions and discussions. The code for the css and html files is presented in the discussion section and can be downloaded from You need to know the basics of CSS before you pick this book up.


Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML, Graphics, and Beyond
by Jennifer Niederst

This is a guide for beginners to the art of Web designing. After reading this book, you'll have a solid foundation in HTML, graphics, information design, interface design, navigation system and other design principles which you can immediately use in creating effective and usable Web pages.


The JavaScript Anthology: 101 Essential Tips, Tricks & Hacks
by Cameron Adams and James Edwards

This book provides you with over 100 thoroughly-tested, customizable and elegant solutions that will show you how to add usable and accessible interactivity to your site: from slick drop-down menus, to style sheet switchers, to AJAX applications, and much more. It also includes download access to all JavaScript code samples used throughout the book - you can plug them right into your own websites without any retyping.


DHTML Utopia: Modern Web Design Using JavaScript & DOM
by Stuart Langridge

If you've already worked with JavaScript, this is a great book that focuses on practical examples of what really works with DHTML and CSS. There is some great cutting edge stuff in it for advanced readers that already have a good programming background.


Build Your Own Ajax Web Applications
by Matthew Eernisse

AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) is a modern approach for developing Web applications. The book starts with the basics, but assumes that you have knowledge of CSS and JavaScript. You'll find here practical examples of creating Web services and working with all kinds of data transfer formats and protocols.


PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Websites: Visual QuickPro Guide (2nd Edition)
by Larry Ullman

This is a good book for people who already have some programming background but are just starting out with PHP. The book is an excellent introduction to not only PHP but also to MySQL and database designing.


Professional PHP5 (Programmer to Programmer)
by Edward Lecky-Thompson

This book is a resource for people with a solid grounding in PHP who want to take their skills to the next level. There's very little PHP 5 specific information in this book. It will show you exactly how to create real-world applications with PHP.


Build Your Own Database Driven Website Using PHP & MySQL
by Kevin Yank

This book is an excellent way to get started with server-side technology. It's a very clearly written, practical, hands-on tutorial that provides everything necessary to develop and serve up a top-notch website backed by a powerful database. The early chapters provide a good overview of PHP and MySQL, however, it best serves those who already know the basics of PHP.

Perl & CGI

Beginning Perl, Second Edition
by James Lee

It's a very capable introduction to Perl. The flow of the book is logical, straightforward, and highly readable. However, it's intended for reasonably experienced programmers. It's not intended to teach Perl as a first computer language.


Perl Core Language Little Black Book, Second Edition
by Steven Holzner

This book is better suited for those who have intermediate Perl programming experience, but need a great reference book. It also contains lots of useful, practical examples. If the explanations and descriptions aren't enough, the examples certainly are.


Writing CGI Applications with Perl
by Kevin Meltzer, Brent Michalski

This book by two longtime Perl programmers shows how the Perl scripts can accomplish the tasks needed for many online applications. Each chapter covers a specific Web-based application and explains the code line by line (or block by block).

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