Creating Cool Web Sites
Book Reviews

There are lots of reviewers who have good comments and thoughtful insight about the book and what it covers. If you're a reviewer and are interested in receiving a review copy of the book to help spread the word, please contact me and we'll talk.

Meanwhile, here are a few choice reviews for your reading pleasure:

Liannis at Nerd's Life Says...

I have had experience with hand-coding websites as well as using "What You See is What You Get" editors, and I found this book both entertaining and educational. If you read this book and learn as you go, you will have a solid background in HTML. This will make coding and correcting webpages faster, whether you choose to do it by hand or with web page editors. For webpage newbies or those with some experience, this book is worth having...

(read the full review)

Thomas Duff Says...

If you're just starting out with learning how to build Web pages or sites, you no doubt have a wide number of books to choose from to help you learn those skills. But you can easily get bogged down in the minutiae of every little HTML tag and still not know what CSS means. You need a readable book that gives you solid coverage of essential information. With that in mind, you should check out Creating Cool Web Sites With HTML, XHTML, and CSS by Dave Taylor.

To position this properly, let's make sure you're the right audience. This isn't a book that will teach new tricks to an experienced web designer who earns their living developing corporate web sites. This book does an excellent job in covering a lot of ground without needing 1000+ pages to do so. Taylor takes you through the basics of HTML and XHTML, as well as how to use CSS to add formatting and presentation to your page. There's even some coverage of JavaScript as well. As you continue to gain expertise in each of these areas, you will probably want a hard-core reference manual to continue your education, but Creating Cool Web Sites will give you the necessary foundation to get started.

While targeted more towards beginners, the information in part 3 is a worthy read for a larger audience. To properly build a web site, you have to think of it as a cohesive whole, not just a collection of separate pages. The author helps the reader think through site issues, such as traffic, accessibility, and so on. Once again, any one of these topics could be a book on its own, but this is a nice level of coverage for initial exposure and to get started.

Conclusion: Beginners will find this to be an approachable coverage of web technologies, while intermediate designers will probably gravitate to the Web site design and CSS information.

Jake Luddington Says...

Where was Creating Cool Web Sites when I first discovered HTML ten years ago? My first experiences with the Web amounted to a tutorial from a guy who barely knew more than I did. For anyone curious about creating a Web site, Creating Cool Web Sites is quite possibly the ultimate starter kit. The book offers clear guidance, preparing you to publish your first Web page within the first few hours of reading the book. Author Dave Taylor walks you through the basics of how the Web works, and then dives into how you can create your own Web site. Page layout concepts are presented in a way that layers the information from each successive chapter on what you already learned, building from a basic foundation until you master all the elements required to create visually compelling Web pages. The only thing Creating Cool Web Sites doesn't provide is the subject matter for your site (that part is up to you). Once the site is live on the Web, the book even offers suggestions about making it easy for people to find. Whether your goal is to share family photos with distant relatives, publish family genealogy, launch the next online travel site, or keep the church calendar of events up-to-date; Creating Cool Web Sites provides a smart introduction to publishing information on the Web. [source]

Leo Notenboom Says...

This is a good book for the beginner to intermediate web author. Dave takes you step by step starting with an explaination of "So What's All This Web Jazz", then building on HTML to present technically specific topics including Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), CGI and forms, images, Javascript and more. The book includes solid examples each step of the way, and some guidance on not just doing it correctly, but building pages that are ... well ... Cool! The book also includes sections on topics not normally found in introductory texts such as validation, usability, getting your site found by search engines, and even weblogs and RSS. Well written, easy to read, this book focuses on the actual HTML and related syntax, and not some specific tool to create your pages. [source]

Tony Lawrence Says...

I think the one thing that impressed me the most about this book was that the author didn't mention FrontPage or any other Web creation tool. He didn't even mention using Word, other than as a cautionary "Don't". No, he suggests Notepad, Mac TextEdit, or vi, pico etc. That alone is so refreshing.

But there's a lot more to like. This is a complete, soup to nuts, "getting started with web pages" guide that brings you from simple HTML right through Javascript, Cascading Style Sheets, basic forms, and even validation tools. The style is practical, with useful examples that don't get bogged down trying to cover every single aspect of every single tag. Yes, you'll want other, more comprehensive references later in your learning, but this really is a fast on-ramp to that Information Superhighway we used to hear so much about.

I didn't honestly expect to learn a lot from this, but I was pleasantly surprised to pick up a few pointers on things I missed in more detailed documentation. There were a few things here and there I took some exception to - things that aren't "wrong", but aren't entirely "right" either, but really these were just expository opinon: I would have explained them differently. One or two small and easily understood typo's didn't mar my enjoyment either.

This is definitely a book I can strongly recommend for someone who wants to start writing their own web pages. [source]

Kevin Rast Says...

Grabbed your book and haven't been able to put it down. An outstanding resource. You've cut my learning curve by 99 percent! I'm going to be recommending your book to anyone and everyone who wants to learn web design -- without being euthanised by other resources.

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