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 - What it is, and What it isn't (Page 3 of 4 )
Since this book tells you how HTML, XHTML, and CSS are currently used, there are certain things that were present in earlier editions that you won't find in this edition. Most notably, Castro did not include a discussion of frames, since most designers don't use them anymore. That doesn't mean the four chapters discussing frames and other old ways of doing things are no longer available except for older editions of the book; Castro included them on her web site for download as a PDF file.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the web site. Though I didn't use it while I read the book, Castro has an entire companion site that she uses in the book, from which the images and examples are taken. While it isn't completely necessary for a reader to visit the site to understand the book, it's a very nice enhancement, and probably helpful to understanding some of the features that involve user interaction with a site (such as forms).
This also isn't a book on how to use multimedia -- that is, it doesn't cover how to create a video or audio file. But it does explain how to include these files in your web page so that both IE and other browsers will be able to play them, and how to embed them in RSS feeds. I was delighted to see that she covered podcasts and how to submit them to iTunes, as well as both publishing your RSS feed on your site and subscribing to an RSS feed.