16 Greatest CSS Books You Ought to Learn — SitePoint

We’ve just lately reviewed the most effective books for studying SQL, PHP, JavaScript, Python, Node.js and HTML. On this article, we’ll assessment the most effective books for studying CSS.

CSS is the language of styling, and is a must have talent for any internet developer. Similar to HTML, Cascading Type Sheets are much more highly effective than they could have a look at first sight; and with loads of communities devoted to sharing “CSS hacks”, there’s no restrict to the quantity of customization you’ll be able to create with them.

However the place do you begin, and the way do you progress ahead? Effectively, is your palette prepared for growth? We’re going for a ebook journey! 🎨🚐


  1. What Is CSS? A Quick Explanation
  2. How to Choose the Best CSS Books
  3. Best CSS Books for Beginners
  4. Best Advanced CSS Books
  5. Best CSS Books for Children
  6. All-in-One: CSS with HTML and JavaScript
  7. Extra: Cheat Sheets!
  8. Extra: The SitePoint Library

What Is CSS? A Fast Clarification

CSS (Cascading Type Sheets) is a language used to regulate the presentation of paperwork written in HTML, XML, and different markup languages. You may consider it as a technique to outline the format, colours, fonts, and different visible elements of internet pages.

CSS makes it straightforward to create a constant feel and look throughout internet pages, and to separate the presentation layer from the content material layer. This makes it simpler to take care of and modify internet pages, because the presentation code may be modified with out having to rewrite the content material.

CSS additionally makes it easier to create responsive designs that adapt to totally different display sizes, which is essential in right now’s world of cell gadgets.

And by the best way, after I say that there’s no restrict to what you are able to do with CSS, I do mean it!

To be taught extra in regards to the issues you are able to do with CSS, take a look at the various CSS articles on SitePoint.

The way to Select the Greatest CSS Books

When choosing the proper CSS ebook for you, there are some things to bear in mind:

  • Your present data. Inexperienced persons ought to search for books that train the fundamentals of CSS, whereas extra superior coders could also be enthusiastic about books that target extra superior methods.
  • The kind of ebook. Some books are centered on educating you the basics, whereas others are extra hands-on, serving to you create particular initiatives.
  • Using CSS. Are you continue to proud of simply the fundamentals, or do you need to study extra superior methods like animations and responsive design?

Additionally, think about that CSS has had numerous new options added just lately. You may be lacking out on some newer CSS options with older books (and even with some newer books that don’t cowl all the newest options).

Now let’s check out a number of the finest CSS books on the market!

Please observe: as an Amazon Affiliate, SitePoint will earn commissions from qualifying purchases made by means of hyperlinks on this article.

Greatest CSS Books for Inexperienced persons

Firstly, right here’s our choice of the most effective CSS books for these simply beginning out.

Study CSS in One Day and Study It Effectively: CSS for Inexperienced persons with Arms-On Mission

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  • Writer: Jamie Chan (profile)
  • Publishing: impartial (March 17, 2015)
  • Paperback: 148 pages
  • Rating on Amazon: 4.5/5 (362 rankings)

Learn CSS in One Day and Learn It Well (additionally available on SitePoint Premium) is an easy-to-follow, hands-on information to studying CSS. It’s by Jamie Chan, an internet designer and coding teacher with loads of expertise.

The shortest ebook on this record, Study CSS in One Day is a part of the Learn Coding Fast collection, and this one stands out for its 362 rankings, essentially the most of any CSS ebook on this record!

In Study CSS in One Day, Jamie covers the fundamentals of CSS, with a little bit of HTML too.

CSS Pocket Reference: Visible Presentation for the Net

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  • Writer: Eric Meyer (profile)
  • Publishing: fifth version (Might 29, 2018)
  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Rating on Amazon: 4.7/5 (232 rankings)

CSS Pocket Reference is out there on its fifth version, and it’s the solely CSS ebook on this record to achieve this milestone!

It was written by Eric Meyer, an internet designer and star writer well-known for his books and articles on CSS, HTML, JavaScript, and internet requirements.

CSS Pocket Reference covers the newest CSS3 modules in a really methodical manner, detailing all of their properties and potential values. So if you happen to’re in search of a reference ebook, it does ship on its promise in a slightly quick type. But when, alternatively, you’re in search of a extra down-to-earth rationalization of what model sheets are, then it’d fall quick.

CSS Pocket Reference is a part of the O’Reilly Pocket Reference collection of over 34 books, and it’s among the many highest-rated books on this record.

CSS in Straightforward Steps: Create Dynamic Net Pages Simply

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  • Writer: Mike McGrath (profile)
  • Publishing: fourth version (February 25, 2020)
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Rating on Amazon: 4.7/5 (60 rankings)

Greatest-selling writer Mike McGrath delights us with a ebook in full coloration that’s only a pleasure to learn.

CSS in Easy Steps is a part of the In Easy Steps collection of over 200 books, and this fourth version covers (in beneath 200 pages) the fundamentals and past. (It truly is an intermediate-level ebook.) It’s illustrated in full-color, and written in plain English, making it straightforward to observe and perceive.

A sample of the Easy Steps layout

Should you like this collection and want to be taught extra about CSS within the context of different languages (extra on this later), take a look at HTML, CSS & JavaScript in Easy Steps (480 pages, 4.6/5, July 2020), additionally by the identical writer and offered in the identical model.

Greatest Superior CSS Books

Let’s now have a look at some choices for these eager to advance their CSS expertise past the basics.

CSS Grasp

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  • Writer: Tiffany Brown (profile)
  • Publishing: third version (10 August, 2021)
  • Paperback: 524 pages
  • Rating on Amazon: 4.7/5 (11 rankings)

In CSS Master, well-known writer Tiffany Brown comprehensively explains easy methods to write higher, extra environment friendly CSS, and easy methods to reap the benefits of the plethora of the brand new, cutting-edge CSS options out there to the front-end developer. You’ll additionally be taught to grasp instruments that can enhance your workflow.

In short, you’ll learn to:

  • arrange your CSS to create environment friendly, reusable, and maintainable code
  • uncover complicated format methods: grid layouts, multi-column layouts, and extra
  • use superior results: transitions, transforms, filter impact, and animations
  • reap the benefits of customized properties: re-use and dynamically management properties
  • mix CSS and SVG to create critically highly effective graphics

This version has been totally up to date to cowl newer CSS options and methods, together with new chapters on visible results and managing doc scroll, and drastically expanded protection of selectors.

This ebook is for intermediate-level CSS builders, because it assumes a good quantity of expertise with HTML and CSS. No time is spent overlaying the fundamentals of CSS syntax. Protection of CSS ideas such because the field mannequin and positioning are included to light up ideas for the skilled developer, however this protection is just not meant as an introduction for inexperienced persons. Expertise with JavaScript is useful, however not mandatory.

CSS Secrets and techniques: Higher Options to On a regular basis Net Design Issues

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  • Writer: Lea Verou (profile)
  • Publishing: first version (July 3, 2015)
  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Rating on Amazon: 4.6/5 (264 rankings)

The award-winning writer and lecturer Lea Verou is a grasp of CSS and the creator of fashionable open-source initiatives similar to Dabblet and CSS3 Please.

In CSS Secrets, she unlocks the ability of CSS, revealing the true potential of the language by means of easy and sensible examples.

On this lovely, full-color version, she reveals the ideas, tips, and methods she has acquired over a decade of hard-won expertise.

Should you wish to discover, create, and uncover new methods to make use of CSS, this ebook is a superb match!

And if you would like extra of Lea, right here’s her one-hour presentation on the You Gotta Love Frontend (YGLF) convention, the place she shares much more CSS secrets and techniques:


CSS: The Definitive Information: Net Structure and Presentation

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Written by two famend internet builders and educators, Eric Meyer and Estelle Weyl, CSS: The Definitive Guide is an exhaustive tome of over a thousand pages on CSS improvement.

This fourth version covers superior options similar to 2D and 3D transforms, transitions and animations; filters, mixing, clipping, and masking; and media and have queries.

Enjoyable and delightful aren’t the primary qualities that come to thoughts concerning The Definitive Information, however final references like this most likely aren’t presupposed to be that manner anyway.

There’s even a fifth edition available for pre-order, popping out on the finish of June 2023!

CSS in Depth

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  • Writer: Keith J. Grant
  • Publishing: first version (April 7, 2018)
  • Paperback: 472 pages
  • Rating on Amazon: 4.8/5 (105 rankings)

Keith J. Grant is a developer advocate at Netlify, and in CSS in Depth he explores the language intimately, overlaying the options and finest practices that can allow you to write environment friendly, maintainable CSS. The ebook provides a particular concentrate on utilizing CSS at scale.

Take a look at this 30-minute dialog with the writer the place he discusses the ebook:


CSS Mastery: Superior Net Requirements Options

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Andy Budd (design chief, start-up advisor, coach and enterprise capitalist) and Emil Björklund (senior front-end developer) be a part of forces to put in writing the third version of CSS Mastery, an important ebook for each builders and designers.

Whereas it doesn’t have illustrations all over, and most code samples are black and white, it does show full-color display captures.

Extra content material to the third version embrace:

  • new examples and up to date browser help data
  • full protection of modular CSS and responsive design
  • important data on CSS typography and format management

Greatest CSS Books for Kids

Let’s not overlook the younger (and younger at coronary heart). Listed here are some books for youthful learners of CSS.

CSS for Infants

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  • Publishing: impartial (July 19, 2016)
  • Paperback: 16 pages
  • Rating on Amazon: 3.9/5 (107 rankings)

CSS for Babies is a board ebook that introduces the basics of CSS to infants by making intensive use of colours and big fonts to overemphasize CSS properties and selectors.

In a just about distinctive format supplied solely by Union Sq. & Co., and with solely 16 pages, some consumers complained that the ebook was too quick. However I’d argue that, for infants and toddlers, it could be good.

Should you appreciated this ebook, examine the opposite choices within the five-book collection Code Babies.


Get Coding!: Study HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and Construct a Web site, App and Recreation

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  • Writer: Young Rewired State
  • Publishing: first version (August 1, 2017)
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Rating on Amazon: 4.6/5 (2,672 rankings)

Get Coding! is a collection of two books for youngsters between 9 and 12 years previous, written by the Young Rewired State, a non-profit that helps younger individuals to develop into digital makers.

The primary ebook, Get Coding!, is a full-color introduction to HTML, CSS and JavaScript. It features a step-by-step information to constructing a web site, an app and a sport. It presently ranks #10 best seller in CSS, and it has over 2,600 rankings, making it the most well-liked ebook on this record!

Younger Rewired State’s YouTube channel additionally has plenty of videos that serve a companion content material to the ebook.

All-in-One: CSS with HTML and JavaScript

For all its greatness, CSS isn’t any use by itself. It really works hand-in-hand with different applied sciences like HTML and JavaScript, so there’s good purpose to be taught it in tandem with these languages. These subsequent books are our picks for doing simply that.

Murach’s HTML5 and CSS3: Coaching & Reference

The Murach’s collection is well-known for its prolonged and nicely written books for studying programming and software program improvement, and Murach’s HTML5 and CSS3 is not any exception.

With one of many highest rankings on this record, this fifth version, authored by Anne Boehm and Zak Ruvalcaba, is a finest vendor in CSS. It’s an replace to the fourth version, which has over 400 rankings.

Except for reference aids, the principle sections embrace:

  • the important ideas and expertise
  • responsive internet design
  • extra HTML and CSS expertise as you want them
  • internet design, deployment, and JavaScript

It’s value additionally noting that Zak additionally has a few courses on Udemy.

HTML, CSS, and JavaScript: All in One

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In HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, heavyweight authors Julie Meloni and Jennifer Kyrnin combine HTML, CSS and JavaScript with examples that you should use as a reference, or use as a place to begin to your personal initiatives.

A part of the Sams Teach Yourself collection, which has over 200 books, this third version contains many updates to the HTML5 and CSS3 requirements.

A comparatively giant ebook, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript can also be one of the crucial complete, offering plentiful illustrations.


HTML and CSS QuickStart Information: The Simplified Newbie’s Information to Creating a Robust Coding Basis, Constructing Responsive Web sites, and Mastering the Fundamentals of Trendy Net Design

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  • Writer: David DuRocher
  • Publishing: first version (January 22, 2021)
  • Paperback: 359 pages
  • Rating on Amazon: 4.5/5 (440 rankings)

Net design teacher David DuRocher presents a complete but simplified information in HTML and CSS QuickStart Guide.

From the again cowl, you’ll be taught the next:

  • Trendy internet design fundamentals, easy methods to use the highly effective mixture of HTML5 and CSS3
  • Website construction and responsive design rules, easy methods to format HTML and CSS for all gadgets
  • The way to incorporate kinds, multimedia parts, and charming animations into your initiatives
  • The way to successfully produce HTML paperwork utilizing industry-standard instruments similar to GitHub
  • HTML and CSS parts, formatting, padding, gradients, menus, testing, debugging, and extra

HTML and CSS QuickStart Information is a finest vendor in XHTM and in CSS. It’s additionally labeled as Nice on Kindle (a distinction only a few technical books get. And it even has an audiobook model!

HTML & CSS: Design and Construct Web sites

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  • Writer: Jon Duckett (profile)
  • Publishing: first version (November 8, 2011)
  • Paperback: 490 pages
  • Rating on Amazon: 4.7/5 (4,260 rankings)

Jon Duckett is a well known writer of books about internet design and programming. His ebook HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites is the most-rated HTML/CSS ebook on this record by fairly a margin, and likewise the most effective rated.

This ebook is over ten years previous, and but its content material remains to be related right now. It’s additionally fantastically designed, with full-color illustrations and display captures. (You may see a sample chapter on the ebook’s web site.)

It’s a #1 finest vendor in CSS, #2 in Net Design, and #2 in Pc Programming, and has a companion website with code samples for every chapter, and plenty of extras.

Should you like this ebook, there’s additionally JavaScript and jQuery and PHP & MySQL by the identical writer and in the identical model, each with improbable opinions.


Net Design Playground: HTML + CSS the Interactive Means

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  • Writer: Paul McFedries (profile)
  • Publishing: first version (Might 19, 2019)
  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Rating on Amazon: 4.6/5 (114 rankings)

Paul McFedries is an writer, serial technical author, and coach who makes a speciality of Home windows, internet improvement, and programming. His books have offered over 4 million copies, and he has written over 90 titles for Microsoft Press, Wiley, and different publishers.

In Web Design Playground, McFedries takes the reader on a journey into HTML and CSS, and the ebook is stuffed with interactive workouts by means of full-color illustrations to assist the reader be taught, overlaying every thing from fundamentals like creating internet pages, to extra superior subjects like styling with CSS and deploying internet pages.

Responsive Net Design with HTML5 and CSS: Construct Future-Proof Responsive Web sites Utilizing the Newest HTML5 and CSS Strategies

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  • Writer: Ben Frain (profile)
  • Publishing: fourth version (September 19, 2022)
  • Paperback: 498 pages
  • Rating on Amazon: 4.9/5 (30 rankings)

You might be conversant in writer Ben Frain and his books. He’s an impartial internet developer, speaker, and advisor, specializing in responsive internet design, internet efficiency, and progressive enhancement.

In Responsive Web Design with HTML5 and CSS (see a free chapter), Frain presents a complete information to constructing responsive web sites, in full-color, with the newest HTML5 and CSS methods.

Don’t thoughts the low quantity of rankings: that’s solely as a result of it is a current replace to the third edition, which itself has almost 300 rankings. This fourth version covers the newest instruments and methods — similar to CSS Grid and CSS Flexbox, and HTML5 semantic parts — which let you create high-quality, responsive and trendy web sites.

The ebook additionally features a companion web site (rwd.education) with extra sources, hyperlinks, and code.

Frain has additionally created two courses on Udemy.


Studying Net Design: A Newbie’s Information to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Net Graphics

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  • Writer: Jennifer Robbins (profile)
  • Publishing: fifth version (June 19, 2018)
  • Paperback: 808 pages
  • Rating on Amazon: 4.6/5 (597 rankings)

Veteran designer and co-founder of the Artifact Conference, Jennifer Robbins hits us with a #1 finest vendor in XHTML, #2 in JavaScript, and #2 in CSS.

Learning Web Design is an amazingly complete, full-color ebook that covers HTML5, CSS3, internet graphics, and JavaScript.

New within the fifth version:

  • CSS Flexbox and Grid format for stylish and versatile web page format
  • responsive internet design for making internet pages work nicely on all display sizes
  • an introduction to the command line, Git, and different trendy internet developer instruments
  • a brand new chapter on SVG and easy methods to use it in responsive layouts

The companion website contains exercise materials for working together with the ebook, supplemental articles for additional studying, links to resources listed within the ebook, and even instructor support!

cheat sheet - cover image

The Cascading Style Sheets cheat sheet, by BarCharts, is a reference information that gives a fast overview of the syntax, parts, and utilization of CSS.

This cheat sheet is a part of the Quick Study Computer collection, and it truly is a useful reference, as it could assist internet designers and builders rapidly eyeball any selector or property they should recall.

SitePoint Premium home page screenshot

SitePoint Premium offers you entry to the SitePoint Library, with a complete part devoted to HTML and CSS books and courses.

Moreover CSS Master by Tiffany Brown (additionally on Amazon), you’ll additionally discover different sources similar to HTML5 & CSS3 for the Real World: 2nd Edition by Alexis Goldstein, Louis Lazaris, and the already talked about Estelle Weyl (additionally on Amazon).

Ultimate Ideas

I’ve been coding model sheets for years, and I nonetheless must lookup easy methods to obtain a sure consequence fairly often, and search for finest format practices when utilizing flex boxes; so don’t anticipate to “decode” CSS in a single go.

That mentioned, with the books lined right here, you’ll be able to hopefully begin unleashing the potential of this important a part of any internet developer’s toolbox, in order that you can also develop into a CSS wizard. 🪄🌐

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