This is a very large and comprehensive book. And for people who are good at self-regulating and already know some programming but don’t know how to build web pages, it is a good way to learn. But there is a lot of information in this book, more than just HTML or CSS, and so some of the topics are covered very quickly. I wouldn’t recommend it to beginners who are not already familiar with some other type of programming language.
- Very comprehensive—takes you from browsing the web to building pages, to posting them
- Includes HTML5 information
- Has an entire chapter devoted to writing good web pages
- Every chapter includes a short quiz and exercises to help you practice what you’ve learned
- HTML5 is used throughout the book, but it feels tacked on
- There is little or no reference to CSS3
- The frames chapter comments that frames are not valid in HTML5 and then uses the HTML5 doctype incorrectly for framesets
- No mention of the new HTML5
- Part 1 covers the basics of getting started publishing a website, including: navigating the web, what you need to publish a site, and an introduction to HTML (and XHTML).
- Part 2 is four chapters on creating web pages. You’ll learn the basics of HTML, using lists, adding links, and formatting text.
- Then you get into more interesting bits of web publishing. Part 3 introduces CSS and has chapters on images, tables, forms, multimedia, and advanced CSS.
- Part 5 covers how to write well for the web as well as design pages that work for your customers.
- The last section helps you get your pages on the internet, provides some detail about web servers, and describes content management systems.
Guide Review of Sams Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML and CSS in One Hour a Day by Laura Lemay and Rafe Colburn
But the problem is, this comprehensiveness means that a lot of things are covered very quickly and some things are left out. A beginner who has never worked with programming languages before might find this somewhat confusing. And if you’re not in the habit of reading books like this while sitting next to your computer—so you can practice what you’ve learned, it might not be very useful to you.
While it is certainly possible to use this book to learn HTML and web publishing by spending an hour a day reading each chapter and working through the exercises, if you are not highly motivated, you might get tired in the middle of those 22 days and do something else.
Does This Book Cover HTML5? And What About CSS3?
The cover of the sixth edition reads “Covers HTML5” and this is true. But it’s also somewhat misleading. This book mentions HTML5 periodically, but it doesn’t really cover it. The video and audio section is a great example of this. The chapter covers adding video using HTML5, video services like YouTube or Vimeo, and embedding Flash with the
EMBED elements. But in a 33 page chapter, only five of the pages are devoted to how to use HTML5.
There are other problems with the HTML5 coverage in this book. For example, there is an entire chapter on frames, and the authors do mention that frames are no longer a part of the HTML5 specification (except for the
IFRAME element). But then the examples use the HTML5 doctype format rather than the HTML 4.01 frameset doctype that is correct. And in the forms chapter, there is no mention of the extremely useful new HTML5
Another glaring omission in this book is CSS3. I could find no mention of any CSS3 properties, and many of these have been supported for years by browsers and a lot are standardized or nearly so by the W3C. Yes, they can be confusing and difficult, but it was disappointing that there was no mention of this version of CSS at all.
Who Should Get This Book
If you are new to web publishing and are either very self-motivated or already have a good grasp of another programming language, this book will be all you need to learn how to create and publish web pages. But if you need more help you should check out a book that is more focused on HTML or on beginners.