The 20 best css books of all time

A data-backed answer

📊

Methodology

There are countless lists on the internet claiming to be the list of must-read css books and it seemed that all those lists always recommended that same books minus two or three odd choices.

Finding good resources for learning programming is always tricky. Every-one has its own opinion about what book is the best to learn, and as we say in french, “Color and tastes should not be argued about”.

However I though it would be interesting to trust the wisdom of the crown and to find the books that appeared the most in those “Best css Book” lists.

If you want to jump right on the results go take a look below at the full results. If you want to learn about the methodology, bear with me.

I’ve simply asked Google for a few queries like “Best css Books” and its variations of. I have then scrapped all those pages (using ScrapingBee, a web scraping API I’m working on).

I’ve deduplicated the links and ended up with nearly 293 links. Using the title of the pages I was also able to quickly discards:

I ended up with almost 269 HTML files. I went on opening all the files on my browser, open my chrome inspector, found and wrote the CSS selector matching book titles in the article. This took me around 1hours, almost 30 seconds per page.

This also allowed me to discard even more nonrelevant pages, and I discarded a lot. In the end I compiled around 159 lists into this one.

Book titles were then extracted with manuel extraction and some web scraping.

I ended up with a huge list of books, not usable without some post-processing.

To find the most quoted css books I needed to normalize my results.

I had to play with all the different variation like “{title} by {author}” or “{title} - {author}”.

Or “{title}:{subtitle}” and “{title}”, or even all the one containing edition number.

And afterquite a bit of manual cleaning.

My list now looked like this:

From there it was easy to compute the most recommended books. You can find all the data used to process this list on this repo. Now let’s take a look at the list:

I've also recently used some data from different book sellers in order to not forget important books and try to give more weight to books with incredible reviews.

Results

20
)

Web Design Playground: HTML & CSS the Interactive Way

by
Paul McFedries
3.8
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Summary Web Design Playground takes you step by step from writing your first line of HTML to creating interesting and attractive web pages. In this project-based book, you'll use a custom online workspace, the book's companion Playground, to design websites, product pages, photo galleries, and more.

Purchase of the print book includes a free eBook in PDF, Kindle, and ePub formats from Manning Publications. About the Technology How do top designers learn to create beautiful web pages and intuitive user experiences? Great examples, expert mentoring, and lots of practice! Written by web designer and master teacher Paul McFedries, this unique book shapes and sharpens your skills in HTML, CSS, and web page design.

About the Book Web Design Playground takes you step by step from writing your first line of HTML to creating interesting, attractive web pages. In this project-based book, you'll use a custom online workspace to design websites, product pages, photo galleries, and more.

Don't worry about setting up your own servers and domain names—the book comes with a free "playground" which lets you experiment without any of that! You can concentrate on core skills like adding images and video and laying out the page, plus learning typography, responsive design, and the other tools of the web trade. What's inside Getting started with HTML, CSS, and web design A free, fully interactive web design workspace Working with images, color, and fonts Full-color illustrations throughout About the Reader If you can use a browser, you're ready to create web pages! About the Author Paul McFedries has written nearly 100 books, which have sold over four million copies world-wide
Amazon.com
19
)

Responsive Web Design with HTML5 and CSS: Develop future-proof responsive websites using the latest HTML5 and CSS techniques, 3rd Edition

by
Ben Frain
4.2
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Harness the latest capabilities of HTML5 and CSS to create a single UI that works flawlessly on mobile phones, tablets, and desktops ― plus everything in-between Key Features Understand what responsive web design is and its significance for modern web development Explore the latest developments in responsive web design including variable fonts, CSS Scroll Snap, and more Get to grips with the uses and benefits of the new CSS Grid layout Book Description Responsive Web Design with HTML5 and CSS, Third Edition is a renewed and extended version of one of the most comprehensive and bestselling books on the latest HTML5 and CSS tools and techniques for responsive web design. Written in the author's signature friendly and informal style, this edition covers all the newest developments and improvements in responsive web design including better user accessibility, variable fonts and font loading, CSS Scroll Snap, and much, much more.

With a new chapter dedicated to CSS Grid, you will understand how it differs from the Flexbox layout mechanism and when you should use one over the other. Furthermore, you will acquire practical knowledge of SVG, writing accessible HTML markup, creating stunning aesthetics and effects with CSS, applying transitions, transformations, and animations, integrating media queries, and more.

The book concludes by exploring some exclusive tips and approaches for front-end development from the author. By the end of this book, you will not only have a comprehensive understanding of responsive web design and what is possible with the latest HTML5 and CSS, but also the knowledge of how to best implement each technique.

What you will learn Integrate CSS media queries into your designs; apply different styles to different devices Load different sets of images depending upon screen size or resolution Leverage the speed, semantics, and clean markup of accessible HTML patterns Implement SVGs into your designs to provide resolution-independent images Apply the latest features of CSS like custom properties, variable fonts, and CSS Grid Add validation and interface elements like date and color pickers to HTML forms Understand the multitude of ways to enhance interface elements with filters, shadows, animations, and more Who this book is for Are you a full-stack developer who needs to gem up on their front-end skills? Perhaps you work on the front-end and you need a definitive overview of all modern HTML and CSS has to offer? Maybe you have done a little website building but you need a deep understanding of responsive web designs and how to achieve them? This is a book for you! All you need to take advantage of this book is a working understanding of HTML and CSS. No JavaScript knowledge is needed
Amazon.com
18
)

Beginning HTML5 and CSS3 For Dummies

by
Ed Tittel & Chris Minnick
4.3
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Your full-color, friendly guide to getting started with HTML5 and CSS3! HTML and CSS are essential tools for creating dynamic websites and help make your websites even more effective and unique. This friendly-but-straightforward guide gets you started with the basics of the latest versions of HTML and CSS: HTML5 and CSS3.

Introducing you to the syntax and structure of the languages, this helpful guide shows you how to create and view a web page, explains ideal usage of HTML5 and CSS3, walks you through the CSS3 rules and style sheets, addresses common mistakes and explains how to fix them, and explores interesting HTML5 tools. Serves as an ideal introduction to HTML5 and CSS3 for beginners with little to no web development experience Details the capabilities of HTML5 and CSS3 and how to use both to create responsive, practical, and well-designed websites Helps you understand how HTML5 and CSS3 are the foundation upon which hundreds of millions of web pages are built Features full-color illustrations to enhance your learning process Beginning HTML5 and CSS3 For Dummies is the perfect first step for getting started with the fundamentals of web development and design.
Amazon.com
17
)

CSS: The Definitive Guide: Visual Presentation for the Web

by
Eric A. Meyer & Estelle Weyl
4.8
% recommend
🛒   Buy
If you’re a web designer or app developer interested in sophisticated page styling, improved accessibility, and saving time and effort, this book is for you. This revised edition provides a comprehensive guide to CSS implementation, along with a thorough review of the latest CSS specifications.

CSS is a constantly evolving language for describing the presentation of web content on screen, printers, speech synthesizers, screen readers, and chat windows. It is used by all browsers on all screen sizes on all types of IoT devices, including phones, computers, video games, televisions, watches, kiosks, and auto consoles.

Authors Eric Meyer and Estelle Weyl show you how to improve user experience, speed development, avoid potential bugs, and add life and depth to your applications through layout, transitions and animations, borders, backgrounds, text properties, and many other tools and techniques. This guide covers: Selectors, specificity, and the cascade Values, units, fonts, and text properties Padding, borders, outlines, and margins Colors, backgrounds, and gradients Floats and positioning tricks Flexible box layout The new Grid layout system 2D and 3D transforms, transitions, and animation Filters, blending, clipping, and masking Media and feature queries
Amazon.com
16
)

Cascading Style Sheets (Quick Study Computer)

by
Inc. BarCharts
4.9
% recommend
🛒   Buy
This is a great tool for someone looking to make Cascading Style Sheets easier to use. Includes information on: • types of CSS rules • parts of CSS rules • text pad • selectors close up • rule locations • defining styles • font controls • text controls • element controls • element positioning controls • stacking objects • browser standards • changing the cursors • debugging code • and much more…
Amazon.com
15
)

CSS: The Missing Manual

by
David Sawyer McFarland
5.3
% recommend
🛒   Buy
CSS lets you create professional-looking websites, but learning its finer points can be tricky—even for seasoned web developers. This fully updated edition provides the most modern and effective tips, tricks, and tutorial-based instruction on CSS available today.

Learn how to use new tools such as Flexbox and Sass to build web pages that look great and run fast on any desktop or mobile device. Ideal for casual and experienced designers alike.

The important stuff you need to know: Start with the basics. Write CSS-friendly HTML, including the HTML5 tags recognized by today’s browsers.

Design for mobile devices. Create web pages that look great when visitors use them on the go.

Make your pages work for you. Add animations that capture the imagination, and forms that get the job done.

Take control of page layouts. Use professional design techniques such as floats and positioning.

Make your layouts more flexible. Design websites with Flexbox that adjust to different devices and screen sizes.

Work more efficiently. Write less CSS code and work with smaller files, using Syntactically Awesome Stylesheets (Sass).
Amazon.com
14
)

CSS Visual Dictionary

by
Greg Sidelnikov
5.3
% recommend
🛒   Buy
13
)

The Zen of CSS Design: Visual Enlightenment for the Web

by
Dave Shea & Molly E. Holzschlag
5.4
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Illustrates the range and potential of Web sites afforded by CSS-based Web design, from striking a sensible balance between text and graphics to creating eye-popping special effects, with a look at layout, imagery, typography, effects, and themes. Original
Amazon.com
12
)

CSS Pocket Reference: Visual Presentation for the Web

by
Eric A. Meyer
5.7
% recommend
🛒   Buy
When you’re working with CSS and need an answer now, this concise yet comprehensive quick reference provides the essential information you need. Revised and updated for CSS3, this fifth edition is ideal for intermediate to advanced web designers and developers.

You’ll find a short introduction to the key concepts of CSS and alphabetical summaries of CSS selectors and properties. You’ll also discover information on new properties, including grid, flexbox, clipping, masking, and compositing
Amazon.com
11
)

Html5

by
Inc. BarCharts
6.2
% recommend
🛒   Buy
If you are at all familiar with HTML, chances are you want to know more about the cutting-edge digital development toolbox, HTML5. Whether you are building your knowledge base from scratch or you are a seasoned user of HTML, this guide will be an excellent reference source to learn more about the changes and additions to HTML that will be affecting a browser near you!
Amazon.com
10
)

HTML, CSS, and JavaScript All in One: Covering HTML5, CSS3, and ES6, Sams Teach Yourself

by
Julie Meloni & Jennifer Kyrnin
6.6
% recommend
🛒   Buy
A solid understanding of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript -- and how they work together -- is vital to any kind of contemporary web development.  And these core technologies are only growing in importance as contemporary web development moves away from a reliance on proprietary technologies like Flash for rich interface and mobile applications. Teach Yourself HTML, CSS, and JavaScript All in One combines these three fundamental web development technologies into one clearly written, carefully organized, step-by-step tutorial that expertly guides the beginner through these three interconnected technologies.

By the end of this book the reader will understand how these technologies work, and more importantly, how they work together to create modern web pages and sites. After completing the book's lessons the reader will be able to confidently create basic but professional-looking interactive web sites
Amazon.com
9
)

CSS Secrets: Better Solutions to Everyday Web Design Problems

by
Lea Verou
7.1
% recommend
🛒   Buy
In this practical guide, CSS expert Lea Verou provides 47 undocumented techniques and tips to help intermediate-to advanced CSS developers devise elegant solutions to a wide range of everyday web design problems. Rather than focus on design, CSS Secrets shows you how to solve problems with code.

You'll learn how to apply Lea's analytical approach to practically every CSS problem you face to attain DRY, maintainable, flexible, lightweight, and standards-compliant results. Inspired by her popular talks at over 60 international web development conferences, Lea Verou provides a wealth of information for topics including: Backgrounds and Borders Shapes Visual Effects Typography User Experience Structure and Layout Transitions and Animations
Amazon.com
8
)

Murach's HTML5 and CSS3, 4th Edition

by
Anne Boehm & Zak Ruvalcaba
8.8
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Until now, my websites looked great but have been coded with what seems like duct-tape and bubble-gum methods, just for appearances and not for professionalism or compliance. This book taught me all that is possible with HTML and CSS coding....

What a game changer! That's what one web designer posted about a previous edition of Murach's HTML5 and CSS3. Now, this 4th Edition updates and improves all the HTML and CSS content in the book...and it adds coverage of Flexible Box and Grid Layout, two new CSS3 ways to implement page layouts.

So whether you're a web designer, a JavaScript programmer, a server-side programmer, or a rookie, this book delivers all the HTML and CSS skills that you need on the job. This book begins with an 8-chapter hands-on course that teaches you HTML and CSS from scratch, including the latest HTML5 and CSS3 features.

This short course ends with a chapter that teaches you how to use fluid design and media queries to implement Responsive Web Design so your pages will look good and work right on any screen, from phone to tablet to desktop. After that, the unique design of this book lets you go on to any other chapter to learn new skills whenever you need them.

For example, chapters 9 and 10 show you how to use Flexible Box and Grid Layout. Chapter 13 shows you how to work with forms and data validation.

Chapter 14 shows you how to enhance a site with video clips. Chapter 16 shows you how to use CSS3 transitions, transforms, and animations.

Chapters 17 and 18 show you how to design and deploy a website. Chapters 19 and 20 introduce other professional skills like how to use JavaScript and jQuery and how to use development tools like Bootstrap, SASS, and Emmet
Amazon.com
7
)

Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Graphics

by
Jennifer Robbins
9.6
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Do you want to build web pages but have no prior experience? This friendly guide is the perfect place to start. You’ll begin at square one, learning how the web and web pages work, and then steadily build from there.

By the end of the book, you’ll have the skills to create a simple site with multicolumn pages that adapt for mobile devices. Each chapter provides exercises to help you learn various techniques and short quizzes to make sure you understand key concepts.

This thoroughly revised edition is ideal for students and professionals of all backgrounds and skill levels. It is simple and clear enough for beginners, yet thorough enough to be a useful reference for experienced developers keeping their skills up to date
Amazon.com
6
)

HTML5 and CSS3 All-in-One For Dummies

by
Andy Harris
9.7
% recommend
🛒   Buy
A new edition of a bestseller covers the latest advances in web development! HTML5 and CSS3 are essential tools for creating dynamic websites and boast updates and enhanced features that can make your websites even more effective and unique. This friendly, all-in-one guide covers everything you need to know about each of these technologies and their latest versions so that you can use them together.

Building on the bestselling formats of the first two editions, this new edition teaches you the fundamentals of HTML5 and CSS3, and then presents ways for using them with JavaScript, MySQL, and Ajax to create websites that work. Covers using JavaScript, PHP, MySQL, and Ajax in the context of programming dynamic web pages with CSS3 and HTML5 Includes self-contained minibooks that review HTML, CSS, design and layout, client-side JavaScript, Ajax and server-side, and putting it all together Examines new web development advancements including new technologies and changes to the standards Features a website that contains supporting materials including code and several valuable programs that are useful for web development HTML5 and CSS3 All-in-One For Dummies, 3rd Edition serves as the perfect reference for both web development beginners and seasoned professionals looking to learn more about how to get the most out of the powerful combination of HTML5 and CSS3.
Amazon.com
5
)

Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Graphics

by
Jennifer Robbins
11.3
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Do you want to build web pages, but have no previous experience? This friendly guide is the perfect place to start. You’ll begin at square one, learning how the Web and web pages work, and then steadily build from there.

By the end of the book, you’ll have the skills to create a simple site with multi-column pages that adapt for mobile devices. Learn how to use the latest techniques, best practices, and current web standards—including HTML5 and CSS3.

Each chapter provides exercises to help you to learn various techniques, and short quizzes to make sure you understand key concepts. This thoroughly revised edition is ideal for students and professionals of all backgrounds and skill levels, whether you’re a beginner or brushing up on existing skills
Amazon.com
4
)

Head First HTML and CSS: A Learner's Guide to Creating Standards-Based Web Pages

by
Elisabeth Robson & Eric Freeman
12.5
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Tired of reading HTML books that only make sense after you're an expert? Then it's about time you picked up Head First HTML and CSS, and really learned HTML. You want to learn HTML so you can finally create those web pages you've always wanted, so you can communicate more effectively with friends, family, fans, and fanatic customers.

You also want to do it right so you can actually maintain and expand your web pages over time so they work in all browsers and mobile devices. Oh, and if you've never heard of CSS, that's okay--we won't tell anyone you're still partying like it's 1999--but if you're going to create web pages in the 21st century then you'll want to know and understand CSS.

Learn the real secrets of creating web pages, and why everything your boss told you about HTML tables is probably wrong (and what to do instead). Most importantly, hold your own with your co-worker (and impress cocktail party guests) when he casually mentions how his HTML is now strict, and his CSS is in an external style sheet.

With Head First HTML and CSS, you'll avoid the embarrassment of thinking web-safe colors still matter, and the foolishness of slipping a font tag into your pages. Best of all, you'll learn HTML and CSS in a way that won't put you to sleep.

If you've read a Head First book, you know what to expect: a visually-rich format designed for the way your brain works. Using the latest research in neurobiology, cognitive science, and learning theory, this book will load HTML and CSS into your brain in a way that sticks.

So what are you waiting for? Leave those other dusty books behind and come join us in Webville. Your tour is about to begin.
Amazon.com
3
)

Get Coding!: Learn HTML, CSS & JavaScript & Build a Website, App & Game

by
Young Rewired State
21.1
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Learn how to write HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and build your own website, app, and game! An essential guide to computer programming for kids— by kids. Crack open this book and set off on several fun missions — while simultaneously learning the basics of writing code.

Want to make a website from scratch? Create an app? Build a game? All the tools are here, laid out in a user-friendly format that leads kids on an imaginary quest to keep a valuable diamond safe from dangerous jewel thieves. Presented by Young Rewired State — an international collective of tech-savvy kids — in easy-to-follow, bite-size chunks, the real-life coding skills taught in this engaging, comprehensive guide may just set young readers on the path to becoming technology stars of the future.
Amazon.com
2
)

HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites

by
Jon Duckett
23.0
% recommend
🛒   Buy
A full-color introduction to the basics of HTML and CSS from the publishers of Wrox! Every day, more and more people want to learn some HTML and CSS. Joining the professional web designers and programmers are new audiences who need to know a little bit of code at work (update a content management system or e-commerce store) and those who want to make their personal blogs more attractive.

Many books teaching HTML and CSS are dry and only written for those who want to become programmers, which is why this book takes an entirely new approach. Introduces HTML and CSS in a way that makes them accessible to everyone―hobbyists, students, and professionals―and it’s full-color throughout Utilizes information graphics and lifestyle photography to explain the topics in a simple way that is engaging Boasts a unique structure that allows you to progress through the chapters from beginning to end or just dip into topics of particular interest at your leisure This educational book is one that you will enjoy picking up, reading, then referring back to
Amazon.com
1
)

Web Design with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery Set

by
Jon Duckett
23.0
% recommend
🛒   Buy
A two-book set for web designers and front-end developers This two-book set combines the titles HTML & CSS: Designing and Building Web Sites and JavaScript & jQuery: Interactive Front-End Development. Together these two books form an ideal platform for anyone who wants to master HTML and CSS before stepping up to JavaScript and jQuery.

HTML & CSS covers structure, text, links, images, tables, forms, useful options, adding style with CSS, fonts, colors, thinking in boxes, styling lists and tables, layouts, grids, and even SEO, Google analytics, ftp, and HTML5. JavaScript & jQuery offers an excellent combined introduction to these two technologies using a clear and simple visual approach using diagrams, infographics, and photographs
Amazon.com

Conclusion

I hope that you liked this list. Please do not hesitate to check out the other ones I've published.

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