As the holidays quickly approach so does the obligatory and awkward question always asked by friends and family: “What do you want for Christmas?” This year, rather than shrugging your shoulders, a gesture which always leads to you receiving ugly shirts that don’t fit, why not ask for something you’re actually interested in?
Below you’ll find 20 awesome web design and development books to add to your 2010 holiday wish list.
“Written by developers who have been using the new language for the past year in their work, this book shows you how to start adapting the language now to realize its benefits on today’s browsers. Rather than being just an academic investigation, it concentrates on the practical—the problems HTML5 can solve for you right away”
“If you don’t know about the new features available in HTML5, now’s the time to find out. The latest version of this markup language is going to significantly change the way you develop web applications, and this book provides your first real look at HTML5′s new elements and attributes.”
“Implement the powerful new multimedia and interactive capabilities offered by HTML5, including style control tools, illustration tools, video, audio, and rich media solutions. Understand how HTML5 is changing the Web development game with this full-color, project-based treatment that shows you-not just tells you-what HTML5 can do for your Web sites. Reinforce your practical understanding of the new standard with demo applications and tutorials, so that execution is one short step away.”
“Cascading Style Sheets can turn humdrum websites into highly-functional, professional-looking destinations, but many designers merely treat CSS as window-dressing to spruce up their site’s appearance. You can tap into the real power of this tool with CSS: The Missing Manual. This second edition combines crystal-clear explanations, real-world examples, and dozens of step-by-step tutorials to show you how to design sites with CSS that work consistently across browsers. Witty and entertaining, this second edition gives you up-to-the-minute pro techniques.”
“With CSS3: Visual QuickStart Guide, readers can start with a tour of the stylesheet language, or skip ahead to any chapter of the book to look up specific tasks covering just what they need to know. This task-based, visual reference guide uses step-by-step instructions, and plenty of screenshots to teach beginning and intermediate users CSS. Best-selling author Jason Cranford Teague takes readers through today’s CSS essentials and provides extensive coverage of CSS3 and CSS 2.1 techniques. The book outlines what can be done with CSS3 now and how the latest browsers have implemented many of the new features. Both beginning users, who want a thorough introduction to CSS, and more advanced users, who are looking for a convenient reference, will find what they need here in straightforward language and through readily accessible examples.”
“This book gets you started working with many useful new features of HTML5 and CSS3 right away. Gone are the days of adding additional markup just to style a button differently or stripe tables. You’ll learn to use HTML5′s new markup to create better structure for your content and better interfaces for your forms, resulting in cleaner, easier-to-read code that can be understood by both humans and programs.”
“CSS3, the latest version of the web’s visual style language, is wildly popular among the industry’s top designers, but still in development by the W3C, and new to many users. In Stunning CSS, Zoe Gillenwater, author of the well-received Flexible Web Design, uses a project-based approach and step-by-step instructions to teach designers how to create cutting-edge web sites that take advantage of some of the exciting new features of CSS3. Each chapter demonstrates a standalone web design technique that can be integrated into any project the reader is working on.”
“jQuery in Action, Second Edition is a fast-paced introduction and guide. It shows you how to traverse HTML documents, handle events, perform animations, and add Ajax to your web pages. The book’s unique “lab pages” anchor the explanation of each new concept in a practical example. You’ll learn how jQuery interacts with other tools and frameworks and how to build jQuery plugins.”
“The bestselling guide to WordPress, fully updated for newest version of WordPress. WordPress, the popular, free blogging platform, has been updated with new features and improvements. Bloggers who are new to WordPress will learn to take full advantage of its flexibility and usability with the advice in this friendly guide.”
“An in-depth look at the internals of the WordPress system. As the most popular blogging and content management platform available today, WordPress is a powerful tool. This exciting book goes beyond the basics and delves into the heart of the WordPress system, offering overviews of the functional aspects of WordPress as well as plug-in and theme development.”
“Smashing WordPress shows you how to utilize the power of the WordPress platform, and provides a creative spark to help you build WordPress-powered sites that go beyond the obvious. You will learn the core concepts used to build just about anything in WordPress, resulting in fast deployments and greater design flexibility.”
PHP and MySQL
“If you’re ready to create web pages more complex than those you can build with HTML and CSS, Head First PHP & MySQL is the ultimate learning guide to building dynamic, database-driven websites using PHP and MySQL. Packed with real-world examples, this book teaches you all the essentials of server-side programming, from the fundamentals of PHP and MySQL coding to advanced topics such as form validation, session IDs, cookies, database queries and joins, file I/O operations, content management, and more.”
The fifteen awesome books above should be enough to fill your stocking and give you a head start on that New Year’s resolution to pick up some new web design skills. Many of the selections above are up to date and aimed at brand new technologies like CSS3 and HTML5 so even if you’ve been developing for years you might learn a thing or two.
Leave a comment below and let us know what web design books you’ll be asking for this year!