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Designing With Web Standards Paperback – May 14 2003

4.1 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (May 14 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735712018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735712010
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 1.9 x 22.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,230,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Back Cover

You code. And code. And code. You build only to rebuild. You focus on making your site compatible with almost every browser or wireless device ever put out there. Then along comes a new device or a new browser, and you start all over again.

You can get off the merry-go-round.

It's time to stop living in the past and get away from the days of spaghetti code, insanely nested table layouts, tags, and other redundancies that double and triple the bandwidth of even the simplest sites. Instead, it's time for forward compatibility.

Isn't it high time you started designing with web standards?

Standards aren't about leaving users behind or adhering to inflexible rules. Standards are about building sophisticated, beautiful sites that will work as well tomorrow as they do today. You can't afford to design tomorrow's sites with yesterday's piecemeal methods.

Jeffrey teaches you to:
  • Slash design, development, and quality assurance costs (or do great work in spite of constrained budgets)
  • Deliver superb design and sophisticated functionality without worrying about browser incompatibilities
  • Set up your site to work as well five years from now as it does today
  • Redesign in hours instead of days or weeks
  • Welcome new visitors and make your content more visible to search engines
  • Stay on the right side of accessibility laws and guidelines
  • Support wireless and PDA users without the hassle and expense of multiple versions
  • Improve user experience with faster load times and fewer compatibility headaches
  • Separate presentation from structure and behavior, facilitating advanced publishing workflows

About the Author

Jeffrey Zeldman¿s personal web site ( has welcomed more than 16 million visitors and is read daily by thousands in the web design and development industry. In 1998, Zeldman co-founded The Web Standards Project (, a grassroots coalition of web designers and developers that helped end the Browser Wars by persuading Microsoft and Netscape to support the same technologies in their browsers.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Jeffrey Zeldman, godfather (in the non-scary, non-bloodbath sense) of the web design industry, returns to the book-publishing fray with his latest tome, the extremely usable & well-written "Designing with Web Standards".
For quite a long time most web designers have treated standards compliance with the same respect as Microsoft enjoys on Slashdot. They are nagged by an annoying voice in the back of their heads that scream, "design for the future" - but drown it out with the client's cries of "design for the past" and their own misapprehension that "everything should be pixel-perfect in Netscape 4".
They hack, triple-test, pet every single line of carefully-crafted HTML, spend countless days ironing out every obscure browser bug known to man, and then pull their hair out in large knots when a new browser comes along & everything breaks.
If you are one of those people (I certainly used to be), perhaps it's time to stand back & realize the obvious: standards compliance is the only way of future-proofing your sites. It's the only way of making sure that what you build today won't break tomorrow.
And fortunately for you mr. Zeldman is here to take your hand, show you where you went wrong, and guide you gently into this brave new world.
It's foolish to claim that standards compliance can solve all the problems of web development - but it's equally foolish to continue living in the past when you have an excellent book like this that can make your professional life so much easier.
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Format: Paperback
Target Audience
Web designers who want to move towards coding pages according to standards and forward compatibility.
This book examines the use of CSS and XHTML for web page coding in order to adhere to standards and make pages that are readable on all platforms.
The book is divided into the following chapters:
Part 1 - Houston, We Have a Problem - 99.9% of Websites Are Obsolete; Designing and Building with Standards; The Trouble with Standards; XLM Conquers the World (And Other Web Standards Success Stories)
Part 2 - Designing and Building - Modern Markup; XHTML: Restructuring the Web; Tighter, Firmer Pages Guaranteed: Structure and Meta-Structure in Strict and Hybrid Markup; XHTML by Example: A Hybrid Layout (Part 1); CSS Basics; CSS in Action: A Hybrid Layout (Part 2); Working with Browsers Part 1: DOCTYPE Switching and Standards Mode; Working with Browsers Part 2: Box Models, Bugs, and Workarounds; Working with Browsers Part 3: Typography; Accessibility Basics; Working with DOM-Based Scripts; A CSS Redesign
Part 3 - Back End - Modern Browsers: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly; Index
Even though I'm a developer, I hate books on web design. Simply put, they all seem to be written by "experts" who push their opinions and studies as hard-core truth, and woe to all who don't design based on their recommendations. I really dislike dogmatic ranting in tech books, and I must admit I was not looking forward to this book with much enthusiasm. I knew I needed to read it, but it was going to be one of those things that was "good for me", but not enjoyable. Imagine my surprise when I found myself actually liking the book! There's some really good material in here...
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Format: Paperback
'Designing with Web Standards' by Jeffrey Zeldman is a book about the use of standards in creating websites. Jeffrey Zeldman is a very well known web designer that manages the several very popular design websites. He also co-founded the Web Standards Project to persuade browser makers to comply with standards. I've been creating websites using HMTL since the early 90's and wanted to learn more about CSS, XHTML and so I picked up this book.
This is not your traditional tutorial book - In fact, a majority of the book is spent discussing the topic of standards, which gives this book an almost academic feel. In spite of that, I still really like this book and found this book extremely helpful is designing standards compliant websites.
In particular, the chapter on XHTML is well written and does a great job in explaining everything from DOCTYPE, HTML tags case, closing tags, empty tags and encoding valid XML tags such as < > and &. The chapter on structure combines CSS and XHTML to provide a complete solution for websites. I had used DIV's before but never really understood how and what they were and what was the difference between id and class. After reading this chapter, I feel like I have a very good understanding on the principles of layout and CSS.
I love all the examples in the book, especially in the latter part of the book where you work through different layouts using the technologies you just learned about. I also love the section of the book that lays out and documents all the deficiencies and bugs of existing browsers and how to work around those issues.
If you want to create websites that work in every browser, load quickly, consume less bandwidth and still be visually and functionally attractive, you need this book.
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Format: Paperback
I knew I had to update my site, but the thought of trying to create an HTML page using the same old methodology was holding me back. Nested tables to build a fluid structure was just to exasperating to think about. As I started looking at more blog's on the www, and seeing how much more creative and elegant the designs were, I also noticed that the designs were primarily CSS driven. Viewing the source only reveled paragraph and div tags. The structure and presentation had been almost completely separated. This is the deal!
I had been using CSS, but incorrectly. I began going through the W3C Specs for CSS and noticed there were a number of help resources. The source I landed on was Jeff's. Although much of the content revolves around the argument for standards, there are great tips and a beginner project to help understand the basics. But if you go to the author's personal website, there is a wealth of information. Also, the author's personal website is very elegant and the CSS that holds it together is free for all. Another excellent source of information is the author's business website, "A List Apart". Thank you very much Jeff!
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