KillerSites Blog


Book Review: HTML Utopia: Designing Without Tables using CSS.

October 3, 2006

Another good book from the boys and girls at Sitepoint – a well written book that walks you through the techniques of modern web design.

Over the last few years a whole bunch of CSS / web standards based books have hit the market. Some were good and some sucked
but there was one thing that was been consistent about them: they all reflected the maturing web design community.

You need to pay attention the word maturing: there were still a few technnical things that had not exactly settled in terms of how web designers should do things.

HTML Utopia: Designing Without Tables using CSS is among the first books I’ve seen that demonstrates a maturity in web design.


It’s all about modern web design practices and techniques. The following topics are covered over 450 pages:

01. Basics
02. CSS 101
03. CSS Code
04. Validation & Backward Compatibility
05. Color
06. Fonts
07. Text Effects
08. Simple CSS Layouts
09. Three-Column Layouts
10. Fixed-Width Layouts
A. CSS Miscellaneous
B. CSS Color Reference
C. CSS Property Reference


If you are a total noob to web design, this is not the book for you. You can start with my free web design tutorial to get your feet wet, then you’ll be ready to buy this book!

You need to have a basic understanding of HTML and CSS. Once you have that, this book would quickly guide you through the sometimes thorny path to web design nerd glory.

Again, a book worth getting.

Stefan Mischook

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Book Review: Web Designer’s Reference

August 2, 2006

This book is a mirror image of the book Web Design with Dreamweaver 8 by the same author – except this book is for hand coders.

A good title for people new to modern web design practices that include:

  • CSS for layouts
  • Semantic code
  • Accessibility in web design

The topics are covered within the context of small usable projects, that can easily be adapted to your own web design work.

Though published in 2005, the material is still relevant and still is a pretty good buy.

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Book Review: Web Design in a Nutshell – 3rd edition

August 2, 2006

This book should probably be on any web designers/developers desk.

Web design has changed drastically since this book’s first edition came out … and thankfully Web Design In A Nutshell has been updated accordingly.

As with all of Oreilly’s ‘Nutshell’ books, Web Design In A Nutshell covers each topic in a concise and yet complete manner making it both a great learning title (for people with some web design skills,) and a great reference.

Some of the topics covered:

  • CSS – basics, page layout methods, hacks, tricks etc
  • Accessibility
  • Web graphics

… and so much more.

Besides the core coverage of the material itself, this book is also packed with great references to web sites and other good books on web design.

Get the book.

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