With the advancement in web development, various new programming languages are taking over the main stage of the development process. However, if you are planning to learn web development, the most basic way to do it is by getting yourself trained in CSS programming.
Employers are always looking for a candidate who knows their way around CSS. For the most part, being able to use CSS thoroughly is one of the basics every programmer needs to master to excel in their web development career.
Learning CSS is something every computer science student needs to do. And the best way to get to grips with CSS is by reading books. Today in this article, we aim to make you familiar with a list of the 10 best CSS books to develop your understanding of CSS, its implementation, and its uses. Before delving deep into the list of books, first, let us understand what exactly CSS is and its benefits.
So let’s begin.
- 0.1 What is CSS? [Definition]
- 0.2 Features of CSS
- 0.3 Benefits of CSS
- 0.4 Things You Need To Know About Before You Opt For CSS
- 1 10 Best CSS Books for Beginners and Advanced Learners
- 1.1 1. Head First HTML and CSS
- 1.2 2. CSS Mastery 3rd Edition
- 1.3 3. CSS: The Definitive Guide: Visual Presentation for the Web 4th Edition
- 1.5 5. HTML and CSS Quickstart Guide
- 1.6 6. HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites
- 1.7 7. CSS in Depth 1st Edition
- 1.8 8. A Smarter Way to Learn HTML & CSS: Learn it faster. Remember it longer (Volume 2)
- 1.9 9. HTML5 and CSS3 All-in-One For Dummies
- 1.10 10. CSS Pocket Reference: Visual Presentation for the Web 5th Edition
- 1.11 Free CSS Books
- 2 Conclusion
What is CSS? [Definition]
CSS is an acronym for Cascading Styling Sheet. It is not a programming language, technically. Instead, it is a style sheet language to make documents scripted in markup languages, like HTML, presentable. It describes how the elements on web pages should look or appear. It provides your web page with a unique and attractive look.
Without CSS, all your web pages will look exactly the same, and they end up using the default style your web browser sets. This makes your website or web pages look boring and unattractive. As a result, the role of CSS is vital in making web pages more presentable.
As mentioned earlier, CSS is not a programming language. This is because, with CSS, you don’t have to worry about using loops, variables, and other complex concepts that other programming languages include. CSS targets specific elements based on their attributes that are part of the HTML file and then applies it in a custom style.
For example, with the use of CSS, you can change the color and size of your text, add an animated effect when a user clicks on a button, and add a background image to your web page. Also, this language makes your web pages look amazing for different browsers.
Features of CSS
Here are some remarkable features of CSS:
- Opportunity in Web Designing: For anyone who wants to make a career in web designing, learning CSS is the shortest way possible to get your foot in the job market.
- Web Design: CSS allows designers and developers to take control of various forms of web page customization to provide different screens and dynamic designs that change based on the size of the device, apart from adding tons of cosmetic effects on a web page to make it look amazing.
- Integration: CSS can easily integrate with HTML and XHTML documents.
Benefits of CSS
The following are some of the remarkable benefits of CSS:
1. Better Website Speeds
A website with better speed will always be more effective than one with a longer loading time. People often don’t like waiting for more than 3 seconds for a website to load. As a result, websites have to be snappy, and with the help of CSS, you can achieve a higher loading speed of websites with ease.
2. Easier to Maintain
A single line code in CSS can change the effects on the entire web page. In addition to this, if the developer feels there is a need for improvement, they can do it with minimal changes in code.
3. Consistency in Design
You have seen websites having the same color theme and text style throughout their web pages to make a better user experience. Well, all of this is possible only with CSS. CSS allows developers to ensure the style of all web pages on a website is consistent.
4. Ease of Position Changing
CSS helps you to change the position of HTML tags with ease. You get to place the HTML elements of your choice on any part of the web page.
5. Better Device Compatibility
People access web content from multiple devices, and it can be a smartphone, PC, or even a tablet. As a result, websites need to have dynamic web pages that change according to the size of the screen. This can be achieved by using CSS as your styling language for HTML.
Things You Need To Know About Before You Opt For CSS
Well, with advantages come disadvantages as well, which one needs to know about when they are working with CSS.
1. There are Multiple CSS File Levels
When you are learning CSS as a beginner, it is petty normal to feel overwhelmed by all the different CSS, such as CSS2, CSS3, and more.
2. Cross-Browser Issues
Different browsers work in different manners. So, when you make changes to a website using CSS, you need to see if the changes are performing well on other browsers.
3. Extra Load For Developers
A designer needs to consider all the requirements from the client’s end. As a result, they have to test the CSS codes across multiple browsers for compatibility. This causes an increase in workload.
10 Best CSS Books for Beginners and Advanced Learners
Here is a list of some of the best HTML and CSS books that aim to provide you with comprehensive knowledge of CSS, along with HTML.
Authors: Elizabeth Robson and Eric Freeman
Head First HTML and CSS is one of the best CSS books available in the market that teaches you both CSS and HTML. It might seem the book has lost its relevance in the modern age as it was published in the year 2012. Still, it is considered one of the best books for grasping all the fundamentals of CSS and HTML. This book has all the answers to your questions related to CSS.
Furthermore, it is a book for complete beginners. Once you have gone through this book, all that is left for you to do is brush up on the latest HTML principles that have come into existence in the past decade. Moreover, while reading the book, make sure you keep up your practicing hours as well.
Authors: Andy Budd &Emil Björklund
This is a pure gold mine for CSS learners, and Andy Budd is one of the founders of User Experience Design Consultancy. On the other hand, Emil Björklund is a technical director at a digital design consultancy, inUse.
It is one of the best CSS books for beginners and experienced and is an indispensable guide to provide readers with a cutting-edge learning experience in the field of CSS. The authors have debunked all the secrets of CSS with a straightforward narrative. It is easy to master the language through this book if you closely follow what the authors are telling you.
Most of the CSS learning books are looking to help you learn basic skills and push you towards practical training. But this one is a bit different, as it assumes you are already familiar with the basics of CSS and you are working with CSS in your projects.
As a result, this book covers some of the most complicated techniques of CSS for you to learn. Still, with the 3rd edition of the book, you will have the added benefit of chapters that include CSS fundamentals, such as how to structure the CSS code, understanding the working of CSS layouts, and more.
Authors: Eric.Meyer & Estelle Weyl
If you want to learn about how to create intricate web page designs for your application or website, then this book is for you. It covers all the concepts of CSS3, such as cascade, colors, backgrounds, gradients, floats and positioning, filters, blending and clipping, and many more. By the time you are on the end page of the book, you will have a good grasp of all the beginner and intermediate concepts of CSS.
The authors in this book will help you understand how to improve the user experience, avoid potential bugs, enhance speed, and add life to your web applications by using transitions, animations, backgrounds, and many other CSS properties.
Some typical topics this CSS book covers are value, units, fonts, text properties, flexible box layout, floats and positioning tricks, transitions, animation, 2D and 3D transforms, padding, margins, borders, and the Grid layout system.
Author: Jennifer N. Robbins
This book belongs to those learners who have this powerful desire to create fantastic web pages and make the world go now, seeing how well the interface came together. You will not only be introduced to the simple CSS techniques, but you also have some valuable insights that make your job of creating CSS-based code much easier. The beginning of the book emphasis more on web pages and their work.
But slowly, it outgrows from it and teaches you how to create a simple website and multiple column pages that can quickly adapt according to the screen of the device. The author has presented the latest web standards, such as HTML 5 and CSS 3, very well.
Apart from this, each chapter has a good amount of exercise for you to do at the end to test out what you have learned so far. There are also short puzzles that readers need to solve that test how closely they have read the book. So, in a nutshell, it is one of the best books for CSS, ideal for beginners as well as advanced learners.
Author: David Durocher
For those who are looking to learn not just CSS but also HTML, this CSS book is a godsend. The author has covered every concept, from HTML tags, CSS elements, and CSS styling to how one can put all the different pieces of HTML and CSS together, in this book. He has taken a unique approach that is quite fascinating to readers.
The explanation starts with high-level overviews of different HTML and CSS codes. From there, it takes a reader down to much more hands-on-device use on how one can build such websites.
It is one of the best books on CSS for beginners. As a result, it is pretty thorough, and it is simple to read as well. Also, it is an excellent CSS guide for those people who want to learn how to code and design unique templates for websites.
Author:- Jon Duckett
If you have ever searched for the best CSS books, this book will surely come up on your screen. Jon Duckett, one of the best authors, is also a world-renowned web designer and developer with 15 years of experience. He wrote this book to make HTML and CSS look less scary.
The author has explained every concept elegantly, simply, and engagingly. One of the unique things about this book is the use of infographics and images. If you are a professional, student, or hobbyist, this book serves as the best guide for you to learn CSS at your own leisure.
Author: Keith J. Grant
The website of the New York Stock Exchange gets a ton of traffic on an hourly basis. Still, the website loads every single piece of statistics with ease to million of its users. Well, all the design work was handled by one person Keith J. Grant. He is the author of one of the best CSS learning books, CSS in Depth (1st Edition).
In this book, he teaches CSS beginners all the clever and mind-blowing techniques to make their design tasks hassle-free. It has tons of creative examples and some of the best practices that only advanced CSS developers know about. You will have a new insight into how to use concepts like floats, units, and many more. In the end, this book will make you a great web designer who can work on both website and application designs.
Author: Mark Myers
This is one of the best books for CSS beginners; still, even if you are someone who has past experience in writing CSS code can still benefit from it. This book follows a learn-by-doing approach. The chapters are pretty short in length, and it also offers interactive online tasks where you have to write the code and check the output.
The book put a significant emphasis on practicing writing code. Overall the language is quite simple and, in a lot of areas, non-technical to make it easier for newcomers to take in concepts of CSS programming. All the examples and illustrations you require to master the skill of CSS coding are available in this book.
Author: Andy Harris
Author: Eric. Meyer
This is the second book by author Eric. Meyer is in our list of top 10 best CSS books to read, and it is here for a reason. Now once you have learned the concepts of CSS and HTML after testing them on various projects, this book is going to help you find out the missing information that you have been looking for in a short time.
The author knows how vast CSS designing is. As a result, he came up with the idea of creating a cheat sheet for programmers. This is a concise and yet one of the most comprehensive guides out there to help you find a solution to your CSS designing issues.
Some key concepts covered in this book include CSS properties and selectors, animations, the grid, the flexbox, masking, filtering, clipping, and compositing.
Free CSS Books
Here we are featuring some of the best CSS books online that are free, and you can read online to learn CSS and take your learning to the next level.
Author: Joseph D. Booth
Best for beginners
Author: Peter Shaw
Best for intermediate learners.
Author: Jamie Chan
Best for Beginners
These were some of the best CSS books on our list for beginners as well as advanced learners. Along with learning CSS with these best books, they come in handy for front-end web developers to learn modern design techniques and trends.
One thing we would like to mention before signing off is that most of these books have several revisions. Thus, you will find a number of versions online for purchase. So, before you make the purchase, make sure to double-check if the version you are buying is the latest one.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is CSS easy to learn?
Truth be told, CSS is not the easiest web designing language to start with, and that is because it has tons of technicality. But, once you learn CSS, you will be able to handle some of the most complex web development projects as it is developed as a full-fledged programming environment for creating a web application.
2. Can I learn CSS from books?
Learning anything new seems to be a daunting task, but the right book can make the learning task fun and a lot more interesting. You can definitely learn CSS from these books that we have mentioned in the list. Also, one advantage of books is that you can learn at your own pace and follow each instruction written on it step-by-step with ease.
3. Which is the best CSS book for beginners?
This is a hard question to answer, but according to us, CSS Mastery 3rd Edition by Andy Budd &Emil Björklund and Head First HTML and CSS by Elizabeth Robson and Eric Freeman are the ones you should pick and read to become a well-versed CSS developer.
4. Where should I practice CSS?
There are multiple online platforms where you can test out the skill that you learned from these CSS books. Some of them are HackerRank, LeetCode, Codechef, and HackerEarth. Even companies hire developers from these websites by checking the leaderboard on competitions and quizzes. Sign up on these platforms to start practicing your CSS skills right away.
5. What is the use of CSS?
CSS is used in designing your web page and web applications. With CSS, you have the control to customize your font style, text color, space between paragraphs, size of columns, and much more. Everything on a web page related to design can be manipulated using CSS.
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Graduate in Computer Science, specialized in Digital Marketing. I am very fond of writing tech articles and creating my own blog to teach my audience.