7 Best Books on HTML & CSS for Beginners in 2023

With HTML and CSS alone, you can start a career building static web pages from designs.

With HTML and CSS alone, you can start a career building static web pages from designs.

HTML is the foundation of all web pages.

HTML defines the structure of a page, while CSS defines its style. HTML and CSS are the beginning of everything you need to know to make your first web page!

We can say that HTML allows you to build the structure of your website and CSS makes that structure come to life.

In this article, we have put the spotlight on the best books for learning HTML and CSS through a collection of book reviews. Each book review will highlight the taste of the book, the contents covered, and how it can benefit you. 


Why Learn HTML & CSS?

Equipping yourself with HTML and CSS skills is helpful in almost all professions. Regardless of what your job is, we’ve got a few reasons why you should learn HTML and CSS. 

  • Easy to learn: HTML and CSS are some of the easiest scripting languages to learn. You don’t need a degree in computer science to get started. HTML and CSS offer simple sets of rules that define how to code and make the learning curve for mastery relatively easy.

  • Quick Career Change: With just HTML and CSS skills, you can offer service on Fiverr or Upwork and build your professional portfolio quickly.

  • Building blocks of websites: HTML and CSS are the building blocks of all websites. These are both used and supported widely by browsers.

  • Build your confidence and craft a new career: HTML and CSS currently power the internet. All big companies like Netflix, Google, and Facebook use HTML and CSS. So, you will have no trouble finding a company that can utilize your skills.

  • Learn other languages with greater ease: Having a handle on the fundamentals is foundational for learning other web languages like JavaScript, PHP, and GraphQL.

  • Additional income source: Upskilling yourself with HTML & CSS can provide you with an additional source of income. You can freelance your HTML & CSS services to individuals and build your portfolio and your confidence.

  • Become a front-end engineer: Solid HTML & CSS is foundational to a career as a front-end web developer.


What Makes Best HTML & CSS Books? 

Here are our criteria for the selection of the books:

  • The book should contain a variety of instructional materials, including exercises, examples, questions, learning activities, and other features that promote the reader's engagement and active learning.

  • It uses clear, precise, and easy-to-understand language.

  • Content must be up-to-date and should thoroughly teach and explain the basic concepts of HTML and CSS.

  • Contain assignments for practice and hands-on experience.

  • The book should have a clear layout and strictly focus on HTML and CSS.


Best Books on HTML & CSS

Here are some of the best books on HTML and CSS:


1. Best book for foundations: Head First HTML and CSS

While Head First HTML and CSS is an older title, published in 2012, it is still hands-down one of the best foundational books for learning HTML and CSS. If you want to learn not just the ‘how’ but the ‘why,’ this book helps you establish a solid foundation that kicks off your entire career.

This is a true beginner book. After you walk through everything this book offers, you will want to brush up on the modern HTML concepts that have occurred over the past decade. And, of course, you will want to practice.

I love this book because it was the book that got me started; I read it cover to cover because it was just fun, and I dreamed about making this work my career.

In other words, this book changed my life. I talk more about this book’s life-changing properties in this article.

This Head First book is packed with fun scenarios and games where you write directly into the book.

Some of the contents in this book include:

  • Creating an HTML page

  • Designing and constructing a web page

  • Using domain names, FTP, and HTTP

  • Incorporating media into your web pages

  • Styling web pages

  • Using the box model

  • Advanced web construction, positioning, and layouts

  • Tables, lists, and forms

If you are intrigued by the idea of doing crossword puzzles and fill-in-the-blank exercises as well as hands-on constructing structurally sound web pages, this book is for you.


2. Best book for getting started: HTML and CSS QuickStart Guide

HTML and CSS QuickStart Guide by David DuRocher covers all of the core HTML and CSS fundamentals you need to know in one place. The book covers HTML tags, CSS elements, CSS styling, and exactly how to fit the pieces together. 

The author has a unique and engaging approach to teach HTML and CSS principles. It moves from overviews of HTML and CSS to deeper, hands-on advice for creating websites. All topics are supported with abundant visual examples and a practical hands-on project! It is a great book for those learning to code and build websites.

Here's what you will learn from the book:

  • Modern Web Design Fundamentals: The book teaches how to use the powerful combination of HTML5 and CSS3 to build functional and responsive web pages.

  • Site Structure and Responsive Design Principles: The book teaches how to format HTML and CSS markup to produce attractive websites and web pages that look great on any browser and any device.

  • Breathing Life Into Your Projects: The book teaches how to incorporate forms, multimedia elements, special characters, and more into your web projects

  • Correct Markup Best Practices: It teaches how to efficiently use CSS and HTML together to produce clean, professional HTML documents using industry-standard tools such as GitHub

  • HTML and CSS for Beginners: It teaches formatting, sizing, fonts, images, multimedia, forms, sprites, and gradients to make your website. The book helps you in testing, debugging, and keeping your site’s code up to date. 

This comprehensive, actionable, and easy to read book is tailored specifically for beginners. It is a great reference book for those learning to code and build websites.


3. Best book for kids: Get Coding!

Get Coding!: Learn HTML, CSS & JavaScript & Build a Website, App & Game by Young Rewired State is an essential guide and a great introduction to computer programming for kids. It will help them to develop key programming skills for the future.

The book includes six exciting missions explained through simple step-by-step instructions to learn the basic concepts of coding. The reader will be helping Professor Bairstone, Dr. Day, and Ernest to keep the Monk Diamond safe from a gang of dangerous jewel thieves. 

  • Mission 1: Build A Web Page

  • Mission 2: Create A Password

  • Mission 3: Build An App

  • Mission 4: Plan A Route

  • Mission 5: Make A Game

  • Mission 6: Your Finished Website

The book’s hands-on approach lets readers learn the basics of coding while seeing real-time results. This educational book is one that kids will enjoy picking up, reading, then referring back to.


Other books you may be interested in:


4. Best book for beginners: Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Graphics

Learning Web Design by Jennifer Robbins is your first stop for learning how to make web pages. It is a complete introductory-level course in web design and production. 

The book is divided into five parts and 25 chapters. Each chapter provides hands-on exercises to help you learn various techniques and short quizzes to make sure you understand key concepts.

PART I. Getting Started

  • Chapter 1 helps you to get started in Web Design

  • Chapter 2 discusses how the Web Works

  • Chapter 3 talks about some big concepts you need to know

PART II. HTML For Structure

  • Chapter 4 talks about creating a Simple Page

  • Chapter 5 covers Marking Up Text

  • Chapter 6 talks about Adding Links

  • Chapter 7 talks about Adding Images

  • Chapter 8 covers Table Markup

  • Chapter 9 covers Forms

  • Chapter 10 covers Embedded Media

PART III. CSS For Presentation

  • Chapter 11 introduces Cascading Style Sheets

  • Chapter 12 covers Formatting Text

  • Chapter 13 covers Colors and Backgrounds

  • Chapter 14 guides you ti think inside the box

  • Chapter 15 covers Floating and Positioning

  • Chapter 16 covers CSS Layout with Flexbox and Grid

  • Chapter 17 covers Responsive Web Design

  • Chapter 18 covers Transitions, Transforms, and Animation

  • Chapter 19 talks about more CSS Techniques

  • Chapter 20 covers modern Web Development Tools

PART IV. Javascript For Behavior

  • Chapter 21 gives the introduction to JavaScript

  • Chapter 22 talks about using JavaScript

PART V. Web Images

  • Chapter 23 covers Web Image Basics

  • Chapter 24 covers Image Asset Production

  • Chapter 25 talks about SVG

Online materials are provided through a companion website to work along with the book. By the end of the book, you’ll have the skills to create a simple multi-column site that works on all screen sizes. It is an absolute beginner book and a good reference for those who are acquainted. 


5. Best book for step-by-step learners: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript All in One, Sams Teach Yourself

Teach Yourself HTML, CSS, and JavaScript All in One by Julie Meloni and Jennifer Kyrnin combines these three fundamental web development technologies into one clearly written, carefully organized, step-by-step tutorial.

It is an all-in-one book that offers a detailed understanding, concepts, practical examples, and best practices of HTML5, CSS3 including jQuery.

The book is divided into six parts and twenty-eight lessons. They are well designed and simple to understand and will make it almost effortless for you to understand the topics.

  • Part I: Getting Started on the Web

  • Part II: Building Blocks of Practical Web Design

  • Part III: Advanced Web Page Design with CSS

  • Part IV: Responsive Web Design

  • Part V: Getting Started with Dynamic Sites

  • Part VI: Advanced Website Functionality and Management

At the end of the day, you will be able to design your own web pages and get them online in an instant. The lessons are straightforward with a step-by-step guide building upon the design concept from the ground up. The book includes practical examples and exercises to help you test your knowledge building up to the course.

Overall, a well-equipped book to make you an expert in the field of web design and development. By the end of this book, you will have gained practical knowledge. This book is for anyone with the desire to learn.


6. Best book for serious learners: Murach's HTML5 and CSS3, 4th Edition

Murach's HTML5 and CSS3 by Anne Boehm uses a practical approach and teaches you how to use HTML5 to provide the page content and CSS3 to format the content and layout the pages.

The book teaches you HTML and CSS from scratch, including the latest HTML5 and CSS3 features. The unique design of this book lets you go on to any other chapter to learn new skills whenever you need them.

The book is divided into four sections and twenty chapters. Every chapter is written in a bite-sized manner and straight to the point. The contents covered are:

Section 1 The essential concepts and skills

  • Chapter 1 gives the introduction to web development

  • Chapter 2 talks about how to code, test, and validate a web page

  • Chapter 3 talks about how to use HTML to structure a web page

  • Chapter 4 talks about how to use CSS to format the elements of a web page

  • Chapter 5 talks about how to use the CSS box model for spacing, borders, and backgrounds

  • Chapter 6 talks about how to use CSS for page layout

  • Chapter 7 talks about how to work with lists, links, and navigation menus

  • Chapter 8 talks about how to use CSS3 media queries for Responsive Web Design

Section 2 Web design and deployment

  • Chapter 9 guides you to design a website

  • Chapter 10 talks about how to deploy a website on a web server

Section 3 More HTML and CSS skills as you need them

  • Chapter 11 talks about how to use Flexible Box for page layout and RWD

  • Chapter 12 guides you to use Grid Layout for page layout and RWD

  • Chapter 13 talks about how to work with images and icons

  • Chapter 14 guides you to work with tables

  • Chapter 15 talks about how to work with forms

  • Chapter 16 guides you to add audio and video to your website

  • Chapter 17 talks about how to work with fonts and printing

  • Chapter 18 guides you to use CSS3 transitions, transforms, animations, and filters

Section 4 Other skills for professional web developers

  • Chapter 19 talks about how JavaScript and jQuery are used to enhance web pages

  • Chapter 20 discusses when and how to use third-party development tools

No matter where you stand if you read this book you will definitely gain knowledge and the HTML and CSS skills that you need on the job.


7. Best book for completionists: Responsive Web Design with HTML5 and CSS

Responsive Web Design with HTML5 and CSS by Ben Frain helps you to harness the latest capabilities of HTML5 and CSS to create a single UI that works flawlessly on mobile phones, tablets, and desktops.

As you go through the book, you will be able to:

  • 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

This book is well-structured and easy to understand. The book is divided into eleven chapters and the topics covered in the book are:

  • Chapter 1 introduces the Essentials of Responsive Web Design

  • Chapter 2 talks about Writing HTML Markup

  • Chapter 3 covers Media Queries – Supporting Differing Viewports

  • Chapter 4 covers Fluid Layout, Flexbox, and Responsive Images

  • Chapter 5 talks about Layout with CSS Grid

  • Chapter 6 covers CSS Selectors, Typography, Color Modes, and More

  • Chapter 7 talks about Stunning Aesthetics with CSS

  • Chapter 8 guides you to use SVGs for Resolution Independence

  • Chapter 9 covers Transitions, Transformations, and Animations

  • Chapter 10 talks about Conquer Forms with HTML5 and CSS

  • Chapter 11 discusses Bonus Techniques and Parting Advice

By the end of this book, you will have a comprehensive understanding of responsive web design and what is possible with the latest HTML5 and CSS. Just pick up this book and explore new ways to look at web designing. This awesome guide for upgrading your web design skill is a must-read.


More Ways to Learn HTML & CSS 

So these are the 7 best HTML and CSS books for beginners. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced programmer, the books described above will guide you on that path to success. Check out the ones that serve your needs and we hope you will succeed in your endeavor.

There are also a few online courses on the list that let you learn HTML and CSS.

  • Coursera: HTML, CSS, and Javascript for Web Developers will help you learn the basic tools that every web page coder needs to know. This course teaches how to implement modern web pages with HTML and CSS. It takes approximately. 40 hours to complete.

  • Codecademy: Free interactive courses. For more on Codecademy’s premium offerings, see my Codecademy Pro review

    • Learn HTML: Learn all the common HTML tags used to structure HTML pages, the skeleton of all websites. You will also be able to create HTML tables to present tabular data efficiently.

    • Learn CSS: Learn to style web pages. You’ll be able to set up the correct file structure, edit text and colors, and create attractive layouts.

If you are on a budget or just explore, I have also compiled free resources on learning HTML and CSS. They are quality and I highly recommend them.

Thanks so much for reading this article to the end. See you in the next one.

Miranda Limonczenko

Miranda is the founder of Books on Code, with a mission to bring book-lover culture to programmers. Learn more by checking out Miranda on LinkedIn.


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