There’s no doubt that eBook devices such as the Kindle and the Nook have changed how people read books forever. At the start of 2011 Amazon reported that for the first time eBook sales exceeded paperbacks. It’s doubtful this trend will ever be reversed.
Though with E ink devices, image heavy books tend to not work well (anyone who has tried viewing a PDF on an eBook will testify to this). This may change in 2012 with the rise of tablet devices, but for now printed books are still in demand. For instance, many web workers prefer to read web design and development books in printed form.
In this article we will look at 25 printed web design and development books that we think you will find useful. Many of these books are also available in digital form and the prices of which have been denoted where applicable.
2. Mobile First & Responsive Web Design Bundle
Print: $30, Ebook: $15, Print/Ebook Bundle: $38
A good bundle from A Book Apart. Luke Wroblewski’s Mobile First provides a strategic guide to mobile design whilst Ethan Marcotte’s Responsive Web Design focuses on designing for mobile browsers, netbooks and tablets.
3. The Smashing Books Bundle
Print: $49.80 , Ebook: $24.90, Print/Ebook Bundle: $69.70
Smashing Magazine have produced a beautiful series of books on web design. Smashing Book #3 is available for pre-order now, and set for release at the end of April 2012. So at the moment the best deal is the Smashing Books Bundle which contains Smashing Book #1 and #2.
The first book focuses on usability, color theory and main rules for web design, whilst the second book provides more practical advice and tips on building mobile apps and e-commerce websites.
4. Photography For The Web
Print: $34.95, Ebook: $29.95, Print/Ebook Bundle: $39.90
A digital photography book that teaches you how to take photographs specifically for the internet. It covers using light effectively, displaying and sharing your photos online, software tips to help enhance your images, and much more.
5. The Adobe Photoshop Layers Book
A whole book that is dedicated to understanding Photoshop layers. Masking, isolation, layer effects, styles and composite images are all covered in this useful book.
6. Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
With over 100,000 copies sold, Steve Krugs ‘Don’t Make Me Think’ is one of the most popular and entertaining books on web usability. Covers designing billboards, navigation, usability testing and much more.
7. The Web Designer’s Idea Book, Vol. 2
One of the most inspirational web design books available. Patrick McNeil looks at the basic principles of design and showcases over 650 websites. Sites are divided by type (e.g. ecommerce, directory etc), style (minimal, illustrated etc) and by structural elements (buttons, tabs etc).
8. 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People
A book that looks at the psychology of design. Author Susan Weinschenk helps you see design from a non-designers point of view and looks into what people see, think and read. It also looks at how people focus their attention and are motivated.
9. The Little Black Book of Design
The design field’s ‘Art of War’, The Little Black Book of Design has inspired thousands of designers with short useful tips such as ‘Always ask why’ and ‘You built it, so natrually you understand it. Will the user?’.
11. Effortless E-Commerce with PHP and MySQL
Another PHP and MySQL book though this one focuses specifically on ecommerce. It covers structure and design, security, user accounts, creating a catalog, the checkout and administration.
12. Murach’s PHP and MySQL
With 24 chapters spanned over a whopping 840 pages, Joel Murachs book is a great book for beginners and advanced developers alike. A good choice for anyone looking for a PHP/MySQL reference.
14. PHP Solutions: Dynamic Web Design Made Easy
A good introduction to PHP and the MySQL databases. PHP Solutions features a lot of practical examples of using PHP such as generating images, creating online galleries and managing databases.
CSS & HTML
15. The CSS3 Anthology
Print: $39, Ebook: $17 , Print/Ebook Bundle: $34 (Promotion)
A great CSS resource that addresses common problems of text styling, navigation, cross browser techniques and more. The CSS3 Anthology is uniquely set up in a question and answer format to make it easy to find solutions to common CSS problems.
16. HTML5 & CSS3 For Web Designers Bundle
Print: $30, Ebook: $15 , Print/Ebook Bundle: $38
Another good combo from A Book Apart. Jeremy Keith’s HTML5 for Web Designers summarises the 900 page HTML5 spec into a more concise 85 pages. Dan Cederholm’s CSS3 for Web Designers explains gradients, shadows, rounded corners and other CSS3 goodies.
17. CSS Pocket Reference
Whilst CSS is easy to understand, it’s very easy to forget the vast number of CSS selectors and properties available. The CSS Pocket Reference is a useful companion for any designer who wants a quick answer to a problem.
18. Sergey’s HTML5 & CSS3: Quick Reference
Another good reference book that covers HTML5 and CSS3 topics such as HTML5 Elements, Web 2.0 Forms, HTML5 APIs, browser compatibility and more.
19. Introducing HTML5
Drupal developer Emma Jane Hogbin provides a step by step guide of how to use the Drupal content management system in this comprehensive user guide. It covers basic Drupal functions up to advanced topics such as designed for Drupal, accessibility and search engine optimisation.
21. Professional WordPress Plugin Development
A practical approach to learning how to develop WordPress plugins. The book walks you through how to create a plugin file, using hooks, and much more. Code examples are given to help you understand what you need to do.
22. Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog
A great book from Thord Daniel Hedengren that helps you understand code concepts such as post types, child themes, the functions.php file and much more.
23. Build Your Own Wicked WordPress Themes
Print: $39.95, Ebook: $29.95 , Print/Ebook Bundle: $49.90
Written by 4 experienced WordPress theme developers, Build Your Own Wicked WordPress Themes shows you how you can build, promote and sell professional designs using the Thematic framework.
24. The WordPress Anthology
Print: $39.95, Ebook: $29.95 , Print/Ebook Bundle: $44.95
A good WordPress guide for beginner to intermediate users. The WordPress Anthology covers subjects such as the WP loop, post type, taxonomies and the WordPress API.
25. Digging Into WordPress
Print/Ebook Bundle: $75, Ebook: $27
Arguably the best WordPress reference available, Digging Into WordPress has over 400 pages of content. It’s how the WordPress codex should have been written!
With all the great web design and development books out there it’s difficult to get them all into this list. So leave a comment if your favourite design or development book was left out and tell us why it’s your fav.