Sams Teach Yourself HTML and CSS in 24 Hours (Sams Teach Yourself Series)Sams Teach Yourself HTML and CSS in 24 Hours by Julie C. Meloni

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a decent introduction to HTML and CSS. Its main advantages over other books of this type are the full color examples and syntax-highlighted code snippets. The explanations and examples are simple and easily understood. It claims to cover HTML5, but actually just points out a few deprecated elements and mentions a few new elements and attributes. It doesn’t cover CSS3 at all. Besides XHTML 1.1 and CSS 2.1, it also deals with fonts, images, and SEO.

Web design tips

Use an email address encoder to obfuscate your mailto links using ASCII characters.
Use the W3C Link Checker to check for broken links.

Use absolute positioning only when you need fine, exact positioning. Otherwise, use relative positioning.

Don’t present more than 5 links (as a list or graphics) next to each other. Break them into multiple lists.
Use a flat structure; keep all pages within 1 or 2 links of the homepage.
Link to a category page or the homepage after each subsidiary page.

A home page should always include the site’s name, what it’s about, and a direct, concise statement of the most important message for the audience.

Color and graphics

Use Color Scheme Designer to create your color scheme. Choose tetrad or accented analogic.
Use Colorblind Web Page Filter to see how your site looks to someone with colorblindness.
Free graphics: Microsoft Office Images, Flickr (Creative Commons images)

SEO

Include appropriate keywords in the meta tags.
Use accurate page titles.
Create human-friendly URLs.
Create URLs that reflect the directory structure.
Use text, not graphics, for navigation.
Use a breadcrumb trail.
Use appropriate headings within each page.

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