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on 27 March 2010
I bought this book based on the reviews. I knew a little bit about HTML before buying this book. I am interested in learning web-design. I decided to make a website as I went through the book. It does help to do this if you learn best by doing. Most of the examples are easy to follow and edit to fit your own needs.

Unfortunately there are some rather confusing parts in the book which require further research, as the book sometimes fails to go into further detail. Luckily if you are reading this book you probably have an internet connection and can easily find answers with a quick Google search.

To be honest I would recommend anyone who is interested in learning XHTML or CSS to look for online tutorials and just practice. All of what is in this book is available for free online. Come up with an idea in your head and try to build it, and don't give up if it gets difficult. I've now got to a stage where I can see my mistakes very quickly and can also work out ways to do pretty much whatever I need to do. You'll find that there is more than one way to do what you want to do, everyone has their own style.

If you want to check your codes you can use the validation services on the W3C website. Trust me, these are extremely useful and will help you to find any errors in your code. You will certainly find that some of this book is now out of date and wrong. So if something doesn't work, it may not necessarily be your fault. Perhaps wait for the 7th Edition.

My only other issue is that some of this book seems to be laid out in the wrong order. You'll find yourself getting to chapter 11 before finding out how to give your page a background, in my opinion I would have liked to learn this much earlier as it makes a huge difference to your page layout and CSS formatting. So quite often you'll find yourself skipping through 6 chapters to find what you want and then reading backwards.

To anyone who already knows basic XTML and CSS this book is probably not going to be of much use. I've read it once and now I generally use it as a reference or use online resources if I'm stuck. It is very basic.
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on 10 December 2007
I already had some basic HTML knowledge before buying this book but not enough to build a full website. After a couple of evenings with the book I have a basic working site using XHTML and CSS.

After the first couple of chapters I found the best way to use the book was to start building a webpage and refer back to the book as and when you need it. The book is really well laid out for this kind of use with a great index and handy features such as the colour chart inside the rear cover. This feels like a book you would keep using for years.

The book does only take you so far, you will have to buy more books, play around on the web and experiment to build a really fancy site but as a good solid intro I can't recommend it highly enough.
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on 27 November 2012
I bought this book secondhand from 'massive books ltd' and it is in near perfect condition. This book is just another source of great information regarding building a website and would recommend it to anyone attempting to build a site.
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on 12 November 2009
Like the guy that reviewed this book before me, I'm on the CIW training course, the difference is this book was what made me go for a career in web design.

It's very easy to follow, and the pages are split so the code and code explanations are kept separate. Also, this book starts with HTML (all the latest standards, which are themselves also very well described), and starts CSS later. The change is fluid, so you're not having to re-learn.

Very soon you find yourself playing around with tiny CSS settings with confidence.
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on 6 November 2011
This is one of the best introduction to XHTML and CSS books on web programming I have found.

It is a bit short however it just contains useful code examples and is a great reference for a budding web programmers' shelf.
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on 3 December 2010
I have just finished my first website, with help from Elizabeth Castro's book. The information is mostly there on how to write HTML and CSS, but along the way I was confused and baffled by the writing style of the book. So as well as learning a new and unfamiliar language - HTML/CSS, you have to learn to understand Elizabeth Castro's use of English. Many times i said to myself "I hate this book", particularly the page or two on PHP - which are no help. Castro says "we'll use a very simple PHP script" which turns out to be utter gibberish (for website beginners i.e. somebody buying this book) and is not explained at all - a frustrating experience but does contain the necessary information for creating a simple website.
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on 13 February 2008
I can not recommend this book highly enough. While I am sure the professionals find it's lay out too simple. IT WAS IDEAL FOR ME! I have had it now 3 weeks and have just published my first web site and it looks good!! Can't believe it!

Clear concise layout with easy to follow instructions on things that really are complicated. (Trust me I have three other books that make it look like code that only people with degrees in computer science could understand!)

If you can't get a basic page up and run by the end of this book I strongly recommend you pay someone to do it for you.

It has made me keen enough to perhaps get a book that goes into some of the areas in more detail now that I have the grounding knowledge.

But saying that I still think this book will always be close to hand as a quick reference point for many years to come.....
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on 10 February 2008
I'm afraid I have to agree with other reviewers that have criticised the writing style of the author in this book. She seems to be targeting the beginner with an introduction of how the internet and world wide web evolved and what a web page is but then the actual instructions dive right in at a deep end of assumed knowledge. I have some knowledge of computing but am not an expert by any means. I bought this to accompany an evening class I am attending but I am finding it a hard read. Not one for the complete beginner but might work as a useful reference book when I acquire a bit more knowledge.
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on 8 August 2012
I bought this book almost 10 years ago with the intention of learning to build websites.

I took a different turn, but have used this book as a reference, every week since.

I have it extremely useful and I am sure that it has paid for itself many times over by allowing me to fine tune my websites created with an editor.

I recommend it to anyone who works with websites whatever their level of knowledge of HTML or CSS.

Owen Jones.
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on 12 October 2010
Having designed and built my own 36-page website seven years ago. It was time for a new-look.

No longer did I want frames. No longer did I want everything in the centre or to the left of the pages. No longer did I want repetitive coding over several pages and no longer did I want excessive wasted "white space" and codes that do not do anything, except repeat a previous instruction i.e. p center is the same as p align center (I have omitted some syntax as this review editor erases my examples) but is applied by certain software and created alot of waste.

So, I was in search for a book that would cover HTML and CSS and a friend suggested this book by Elizabeth Castro.
I then read a good few reviews here and thought; "everyone is saying how good this book is" and so, I purchased a copy.

Over the past couple of days and prior to receiving this book. I have been redesigning my website using the same repetitive page structures and completed 28-pages out of 36.

My website was looking good but not brilliant. Then early this morning, I received this book and instead of starting at the beginning, I went straight to the index, in search for CSS codes, to build my first style sheet.

Amazingly, by the use of this book, I created my first style sheet for fonts, colors, links, hovers, header, footer etc in one tiny single file instead of typing all the above on every single webpage, which is time consuming and slows the loading of pages.

Please take into account, whilst I am confident in HTML coding structure on a basic level, I have never compiled a CSS (style sheet) before but on completion of my first, everything worked as it should have done and I even impressed myself.

This book is easy to understand and is very well laid out that it covers every aspect of web design in detail section by section - hence me skipping straight to the section I wanted.

The layout of the book is well thought of: One page shows you the code, the opposite page shows you how it should look and includes tips.

The book is for both basic and intermediate web designers and it is the only book you will need.

For once, I listened and read reviews and I will honestly say, that I won't need to buy any other book.

I have nothing but praise for Elizabeth's book and I know I will learn even more and in time, my website will look as professional as if I paid someone to do it and with this book, I can acheive this.
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