If you have a reasonably intelligent friend who is not a programmer and wants you to build him a web site, you have several options. You could build it…and probably be stuck maintaining it. You could point him in the direction of DreamWeaver or similar programs, or a template site, and still be the person he runs to for help. Or you could tell him to buy a copy of this book.
Book Review HTML, XHTML and CSS, Sixth Edition (Page 1 of 4 )
HTML, XHTML & CSS, Sixth Edition is a Visual QuickStart Guide, written by Elizabeth Castro and published by Peachpit Press. Earlier editions of the book sold more than a million copies, and it's easy to see why. As Castro says on her web site, "I write computer books that start at the beginning without treating you like an idiot." She has also written Creating a Photo Book and Slideshow with iPhoto 5, Publishing a Blog with Blogger, Creating a Web Page with HTML, Perl and CGI for the World Wide Web, and XML for the World Wide Web.
Peachpit Press has been around for 20 years, publishing books on the latest in graphic design, desktop publishing, multimedia, web publishing, and general computing. The publisher is well known in technology circles for the detailed step-by-step directions featured in its books, time-saving techniques, and insider tips. The Visual QuickStart Guide series is particularly popular.
I didn't know any of this when I opened the book. I knew that I wanted to learn HTML (and had wanted to learn it for a while), and this looked like a friendly way to go about it. I am not a programmer, though I have worked on and off for years with programs that use HTML. I understand certain principles of HTML, but before reading the book I had no systematic knowledge of it. Now, with this book by my side, I'm pretty confident that I can build my own web site from scratch if I want to.