Best Books For Learning Web Design And Coding (2020 Edition)

Written by
Fabrizio Van Marciano
Posted on
January 1, 2020

Web design and development is one of the most challenging but rewarding, and exciting careers you can experience. If you're planning a venture down this road yourself, you're going to need all the help you can get.

Like many freelance designers and devs out there, I am self-taught. There's definitely something special about being self-taught, and for me, passion plays a big role.

You really don't need to spend years at college studying for a degree to become a successful designer or developer. You can get a degree if you want one, but you don't need one. Of course, you might beg to differ and that's fine. What I do think you need to have is a lot of passion, perseverance, and patience.

Designers and devs spend a lot of time researching, discovering, and learning new things. That's part of the process.

When I start a new project, there will be plenty of opportunities for me to research and learn new things. Even when I'm not working on a project, I'm still finding the time to feed my knowledge so that I can improve my skills.

You know what they say, practice makes perfect. Perhaps perfect is too elaborate. I would agree with 'Practice promotes growth and improvement'.

If you're on the journey of becoming a freelance designer or front end dev, I want to wish you all the success. You are making a great choice in career and I know you won't regret it. It's hard work, but you'll have so much fun.

OK, so, whether you're learning all about website design for the first time. Or you're looking to expand on your existing knowledge and develop your skills further. Below you will find 6 amazing web design and development books that I recommend checking out.

Let's get started!

#1. Web Design with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and JQuery (Set)

Let's start with these two must-have books both authored by John Ducket. They're an absolute necessity for front-end developers of all levels.

I purchased both of these books myself back in early 2017, a good few years after I began my web design journey, I know. They have proven to be valuable resources over the last few years. I've referred to them on many occasions.

Both books cover the fundamental elements and building blocks of using web development languages. They combine visual explanations with sample codes. You can use the sample codes in your own projects and the instructions are clear and easy to follow.

If you're starting out, I couldn't recommend these two books enough.


#2. The Complete Website Planning Guide

An absolute must for all web designers, whether working on your own or a client website project.

As a HubSpot Certified Growth-Driven Designer, I value the importance of planning. You should never start a project without planning and strategizing under any circumstance.

Understanding a website's goals and target audience is such an important factor. Which is why I love the website planning guide by Darryl King.

The book covers goal setting, defining a website's audience, researching, gathering resources, creating a site architect, and wire-framing.


#3. The Pragmatic Guide To Sass3

CSS has always been my favorite design language. Even when I'm not writing CSS code for websites I'm working on, I'm practicing it.

Some time ago, I discovered a more efficient way of writing CSS through Sass. If you're not new to CSS or you've been thinking about learning Sass, now is the time. For this, I recommend checking out The Pragmatic Guide to Sass3.

This is a little book, but there's a lot of value crammed into it. It covers everything you need to get started with Sass3 from getting set up, creating variables, compiling Sass code into CSS and more.


#4. Professional WordPress Design And Development

There was no way I was not going to mention a WordPress design and dev book here. I work with WordPress every single day in my business. If you're a freelance designer working with WordPress websites too, the more you know the better, right?

If you're new to WordPress, The Professional WordPress Design & Development book will help you understand WordPress fundamentals. This is so important when developing websites built on WordPress CMS. From UX design to website migration, and more.

The book comes complete with examples and plenty of practical solutions for you to dive into.


#5. A Project Guide To UX Design

Designing a website that focuses on user experience is the goal of every web designer. Whatever the goal or purpose of the website, it should meet the needs of its users. That's fundamental.

A Project Guide To UX Design is a great book for learning and understanding the discipline of UX design, and how to apply it to your own projects.


#6. Making Websites Win

The design and development of a website is nothing if it doesn't work. You need to think about the website, the traffic, the target audience, and users. Yep, I guess I'm talking about conversion design. Something that I'm incredibly passionate about here at FVM.

Making Websites Win is a book that contains a customer-centric approach or method used by industry-leading websites. You will learn from other successful web businesses, replicate their methods, and build your own winning formula. You'll also learn how to capitalize on your own website's biggest opportunities, and more.


It's a wrap!

So, there you have it. I've kept this list short and sweet so not to bombard you with too much resource.

Whether you're beginning your exciting journey as a freelance designer or small agency. Or, you have some experience already. These books should provide you with some valuable resources and education.

I'll be sure to add new book titles to this post in the future, as and when I learn about and read them myself. Now, go and have fun learning all about web design and development.

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