Today, serious Web pages use HTML and XHTML to structure their content and CSS for style and presentation. You need a book that understands how to incorporate everything correctly. Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML explains the fundamentals of HTML, XHTML, topics like web color, and CSS properties. In this book, pictures and step-by-step instructions explain how to build great-looking, standards-compliant web sites.
By Elisabeth Robson
I am often asked how I first got started in programming. Recently, I was interviewed by Girls Gone Geek, a weekly podcast on technology from a women's perspective, and they asked if I got started by creating web sites. The Girls clearly have no idea how old I am! (Shhh...) I actually started programming long before the Web was a twinkle in Tim Berners-Lee's eye, but their question got me thinking, and I realized that creating a web site is a good way to get started on your way to programming.
Another advantage to writing HTML and CSS yourself is that you can always write your web pages using the most current standards. When we wrote Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML, HTML 4.01, CSS 2, and XHTML 1.0 were the most current and best supported versions of these technologies, and in fact they still are. But standards development is inching along and before too long, HTML 5, CSS 3 and XHTML 2.0 will be launched and supported by browsers. If you stay up to date with these standards, you're likely to be writing far better code than programs like Dreamweaver or Expression do.
Once the new standards for HTML, CSS and XHTML are nailed down a bit more, we'll update Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML to include some of the cool new features. HTML 5 will be more strict than HTML 4 was, but it's designed to be backwards compatible with older browsers, so you will be able to convert your HTML 4 pages to HTML 5 web pages without worrying too much about breaking them in older browsers. (However, always keep in mind that there is no substitute for lots of testing!)
In the meantime, you can write HTML 4.01, CSS 2 and XHTML 1 knowing that these standards will be the most current and the best supported for quite a while. When the new standards are released and supported by browsers, we'll help you sort through it all so you can focus on creating great web pages and building up your web skills. And once you get the hang of some of these web page skills, you might very well find yourself wanting to move from creating web pages to programming.