I try not to buy too many web design books as web design is such a rapidly
changing subject that most books about web design are out of date within
a few months of hitting the shelves! However there are a few web design
books that I've found to be really useful and I've listed them below.
Many of these books have sample chapters available for reading on Amazon,
so I've included links to Amazon where available for those that would
like to buy a book or read reviews or sample chapters (just click on
the book's title to be whisked off to Amazon).
HTML | Programming | Website
HTML The Definitive Reference
by Danny Goodman
Dynamic HTML is one of those subjects where it's very hard to
be totally definitive (mainly because different browsers interpret
specifications differently and add their own "features");
but Danny Goodman has done a great job of ferreting out all these
differences. The best part of the book is that Danny actually
tells you which browsers support which features, and he stresses
the importance of trying to make your code browser-neutral. I've
read plenty of other books that ignore this problem and simply
decide to concentrate on IE and ignore Netscape, Opera and
others; thankfully this book isn't one of those.
As well as a reference to the DOM (Document Object Model) the
author also includes references for CSS (Cascading Style Sheets),
this book isn't for you (it makes no attempt at trying to teach
looking for a good reference guide then this book is invaluable.
by Leon Atkinson
This was the first PHP book that I every bought and I'm sure
glad I got it! The book covers installing PHP and getting it
to work on your server, scripting basics, a language tutorial
(i.e. variables, data types, flow control, etc), and a huge reference
of hundreds of functions.
Even though I had been programming with PHP for about a year
before I purchased this book I still found it incredibly useful
both as a reference guide (there's no way someone can remember
all those PHP functions, there's hundreds of them!) and as a
memory jogger when I forget exactly how something works. Sure,
most of the contents can be found online but I prefer a real
book to look at.
by Tim Converse, Joyce Park
Another very handy PHP book to have. Interesting, real-world
topics are covered (i.e. how to write secure PHP code that protects
you against hackers). You really need some programming experience
in another language as this book isn't for non-programmers.
4 Developer's Guide
by Blake Schwendiman
This book contains lots of practical information about using
PHP in real-world situations. I particularly liked the way the
author stressed the importance of proper software engineering
techniques. Some of the chapters that really stood out, mainly
because they are poorly covered by other PHP books that I've
read, include authentication, browser independence, debugging,
and non-website uses for PHP. 392 of the 775 pages, i.e. roughly
half the book, are an alphabetical function reference which is
pretty much the same as the official PHP documentation.
5 Power Programming
by Andi Gutmans, Stig Bakken, Derick Rethans
If you're already quite experienced with PHP and are wanting
to find out more about PHP 5, then this is the book for you!
A brief introduction to PHP is supplied (and I even learnt a
few new things!) before diving in to the new version 5 features:
object-oriented capabilities (from properties and methods to
polymorphism, interfaces, and reflection), improved XML support,
error handling, etc.
Also provided are interesting chapters on PEAR, performance
optimization, writing PHP extensions, shell scripting, etc.
MX: Advanced PHP Web Development
by Gareth Downes-Powell, Tim Green, Allan Kent, Bruno Mairlot,
George McLachlan, Dan Radigan
I had used Dreamweaver versions 3 and 4 in the past with hand-coded
PHP code, but when I upgraded to Dreamweaver MX I found the built-in
support for PHP and MySQL to be a real boon. This book has all
the usual information for PHP beginners (i.e. data types, operators,
control structures, etc) but where it really shines is in its
coverage of error handling, building your own server behaviors,
using PHP for sending e-mail, XML, and combining PHP and Flash.
Also included are two practical case studies: an on-line training
log and a complete content management system.
by Paul DuBois
Quite probably the only MySQL book you'll ever need! Everything
from installing MySQL and getting it running through to how it's
security works, accessing it via programming languages (C, Perl,
PHP), using the add-on tools, and of course how to use SQL for
creating, deleting and retrieving data. There are lots of examples.
This book is highly recommended to anyone using MySQL; truly
Dreamweaver 4 & Dreamweaver UltraDev 4 Extensions
by Tom Muck and Ray West
This is a very useful book for those that are interested in
extending Dreamweaver and UltraDev with their own objects, behaviors,
floaters, property inspectors, commands, etc. You could find
all the included information buried in the official Macromedia
documentation, and amongst the many excellent websites that deal
with extensions, but for those of us that prefer an old fashioned
book then this is the one for you!
by Don Sellers
I found this to be a really useful book that explained lots
of different methods to promote a website. All of the usual topics
are covered (i.e. search engines and how to get a good ranking
on them, trading links, announcement sites, award sites, banner
advertising, etc), as well as lots of off-line methods of promotion
(i.e. press releases, print advertisements, etc). It's nice to
see that the author takes netiquette seriously
and points out that certain promotion techniques (i.e. email
spamming) may actually hurt your site more than help it.
by Rachel McAlpine
Lots of advice on how to write for the web and make online content
readable. Not only will your website be more interesting to visitors
but the tips and tricks will help your website with search engines
and get people to trust you so they make purchases from your