If my old memory is correct, I never owned books on either HTML or CMS when I started on web building. Between free low-cost editors and on-line tutorials, I never needed them.
After several years, I wanted better understanding of such things as Layouts without TABLEs (using DIVs), adjusting style.css files, and web usability. Here are a few titles I own, with links to sources.
Designing Web Usability by Jakob Nielsen (Paperback Dec 30, 1999, Peachpit Press)
While everyone wants to design cool web sites, no one wants to think simple and consider whether the design actually accomplishes its goal, which is usually to sell, teach, or entertain.
Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed by Jakob Nielsen and Marie Tahir (Paperback Nov 15, 2001, New Riders Press)
Collaboration of Nielsen, the accepted industry expert in Web usability, and Tahir, an expert in user profiling, has produced a guide practical benefit.
I value both Nielsen books as well as his on-line site http://www.useit.com/.
Here are some other titles I have found useful.
- “Pro CSS and HTML Design Patterns”, Michael Bowers, from Apress
- “The Principles of Beautiful Web Design”, Jason Beaird, from Sitepoint
- “The Art Science of CSS”, C. Adams, J. Bolton, D. Johnson, S. Smith, J. Snook, from Sitepoint.
These three include coverage of such topics as layouts without TABLES, fluid design, et cetera. For raw lookup references, standards, tutorials on HTML code, don’t overlook www.w3.org.
All three book titles are available from amazon.com in paperback, the first also in Kindle format. If you prefer to copy and paste, go to the publishers on-line for PDF versions. Your copies will use your purchase email as your password. On the other hand, the paperbacks are available at deep discount.
Bowers does a good job of explaining how layouts can be made with DIV, not TABLEs, even to having sections which float over each other if the browser window is shrunk.
Not too surprisingly, Beaird goes further into optimizing graphics to content than most webmasters will bother. On the other hand, he is an antidote to graphics designers who get entirely too caught up in look what I can do!
Snook et alii include the mysteries of making rounded corners, which I think receives way too much attention on the web. www.w3.org and browsers like Firefox are working on making that bit easier, for those who care a lot more than I do. But other issues are well worth reading or using as reference.