Some people say web development books are dead. Why spend $40 when there's a seemingly never-ending stream of information available for free on the web, via blogs like Nettuts+? Well, there's absolutely validity to that statement, but the fact remains, nothing compares to curling up on a couch with a fully researched, definitive guide to a particular subject.
With that in mind, we've prepared a list of books that we feel are among the best of the best. Nettuts+ approved books!
Jump to a Topic
Author: David Powers
"So why another PHP book? Well, not everyone who uses PHP is a programmer. PHP is the most common dynamic web language used by designers, if their web sites require dynamic functionality, and there are hordes of novice users who want to set up dynamic web sites."
Author: Jason Lengstorf
"PHP for Absolute Beginners starts at the very beginning stages of web programming, showing even the most inexperienced web developer, through examples, how to build a basic content management system. The book dives directly into writing web applications with accompanying explanation rather than explaining elements of the language and then showing examples."
Author: Adam Trachtenberg
"PHP Cookbook has a wealth of solutions for problems that you'll face regularly. With topics that range from beginner questions to advanced web programming techniques, this guide contains practical examples -- or "recipes" -- for anyone who uses this scripting language to generate dynamic web content."
Author: Nicholas Zakas
Author: Douglas Crockford
Author: Stoyan Stefanov
Author: Stoyan Stefanov
Author: John Resig
Author: Jeremy McPeak
Author: Cody Lindley
Author: Cody Lindley
"jQuery Enlightenment was written to express, in short-order, the concepts essential to intermediate and advanced jQuery development. Its purpose is to instill in you, the reader, practices that jQuery developers take as common knowledge. Each chapter contains concepts essential to becoming a seasoned jQuery developer."
Author: Bear Bibeault
"jQuery in Action is a fast-paced introduction and guide. It shows you how to traverse HTML documents, handle events, perform animations, and add Ajax to your web pages. The book's unique "lab pages" anchor the explanation of each new concept in a practical example. You'll learn how jQuery interacts with other tools and frameworks and how to build jQuery plugins."
Author: Bruce Lawson
"Written by developers who have been using the new language for the past year in their work, this book shows you how to start adapting the language now to realize its benefits on today's browsers. Rather than being just an academic investigation, it concentrates on the practical—the problems HTML5 can solve for you right away."
Author: Peter Lubbers
"The biggest revolution since Ajax, Pro HTML 5 Programming: Powerful APIs for Richer Internet Application Development introduces the most revolutionary new feature of HTML 5, the ability to build Real-Time Web applications using Web Sockets. "
Author: Mark Pilgrim
"Managing web content has always been tricky, but with WordPress, any web designer can have a flexible, free and powerful CMS to use not just on blogging projects, but on all sorts of websites. In How To Be a Rockstar WordPress Designer you will learn step by step how to take a straight HTML site and power it with WordPress."
Author: Chris Coyier and Jeff Starr
"There is much to learn about the World's most popular publishing platform. Digging into WordPress is nearly 450 pages of taking you from your first steps of learning about WordPress all the way through maintaining a site throughout the years."
"As one of the most popular open source content management systems available today, WordPress boasts a framework that allows you to easily customize and extend it through plugins. This comprehensive book shows you how plugins work, reviews the tools and APIs available in WordPress, and demonstrates how to extend the functionality of WordPress with plugins."
Author: Hal Stern
"An in-depth look at the internals of the WordPress system. As the most popular blogging and content management platform available today, WordPress is a powerful tool. This exciting book goes beyond the basics and delves into the heart of the WordPress system, offering overviews of the functional aspects of WordPress as well as plug-in and theme development."
Author: Andy Clarke
"‘Hardboiled Web Design’ offers a fresh perspective on designing for the web — never compromising, always pushing boundaries. It strips markup to the bone and uses HTML5 and CSS3 to the maximum to help make your sites more adaptable to whatever the web might throw at them. "
Author: Andy Budd
"A book that brings together the most useful CSS techniques in one place, that focuses on real-world browser issues and that helps plug common gaps in people's CSS knowledge."
Author: Eric Meyer
"CSS: The Definitive Guide provides you with a comprehensive guide to CSS implementation, along with a thorough review of all aspects of CSS 2.1. Updated to cover Internet Explorer 7, Microsoft's vastly improved browser, this new edition includes content on positioning, lists and generated content, table layout, user interface, paged media, and more. "
Author: Christopher Schmitt
"Learn how to solve the real problems you face with CSS. This cookbook offers hundreds of practical examples for using CSS to format your web pages, and includes code samples you can use right away. You'll find exactly what you need, from the basics to complex hacks and workarounds."
Author: Andrew Burgess
"In this book, Andrew Burgess will take you from knowing nothing about source code management to being able to use Git proficiently. You'll look at why you should use a version control system, why Git is better than the other options, and how to set up and use Git."
Author: Jan Goyvaerts
"Whether you're a novice or an experienced user, Regular Expressions Cookbook will help deepen your understanding of the tool. You'll learn powerful new tricks, avoid language-specific gotchas, and save valuable time with this huge library of proven solutions to difficult, real-world problems."
What Did We Miss?
I've undoubtedly forgotten a handful of books, so let me know which books the list should include below. And a quick disclaimer: yes, we've used our Amazon affiliate codes above, but that in no way deters from the fact that every one of the books listed above is fantastic. And hey, you help support Nettuts+ when you use these links!