Learning HTML5 & CSS3

How did you learn to code?

I ask because a couple of recent chance encounters have got me thinking that there are some pretty big gaps in people’s knowledge of HTML5 and CSS3.

For example, I was chatting to a student who approached me at an event last Saturday. He asked me where he could go to learn HTML5. I suggested a few books and started explaining how HTML5 differs from HTML4. He interrupted and said, "Sorry you don't understand… I have no idea about HTML 4 either."

Is it me or is there a real problem here? After all, the guy was enthusiastic, he wanted to learn but was struggling to find the right resources for him. The problem seems to be that too many of the current books and sites assume that you’re simply moving up from an earlier version. So they spend a lot of time putting HTML5 into context by making exactly the same mistake as I did – explaining how it was different from HTML4 (or 3 for that matter).

When I started web development back in the late 90's (when dinosaurs ruled the world) I remember starting with WebMonkey.com. Then I moved on to learn DHTML from DHTMLcentral.com. And then on to 4guysfromrolla.com to learn server-side programming.

Is there a modern day equivalent? A resource that guides people from complete beginner to web developer. Or do we simply expect all new developers to find their own way?

What site, book, course etc would you recommend to people that are just beginning in web design and development?

Comments (11)

  1. This is my problem says:

    This is the exact issue I'm dealing with. I don't want to have to learn 3, then upgrade that knowledge to 4, and then learn how to apply that to 5. I don't have the time or money to learn all of those things in courses and then unlearn the differences. Any info would be great..

  2. Emme says:

    This book has the content you're hankering for: http://www.htmlandcssbook.com

  3. KOB says:

    If one is a beginner, it may sound like best to jump into HTML5, which is a sound decision. However, depending on your projected client base, you may find it essential to support older browsers, which is why it is important to know the differences between html 4 and 5.

    Hopefully you come up with a list of resources for learning html 5 for your next blog post. Put in in a comprehensive format, as variety of learning resources includes books, videos, Microsoft Visual Studio, demos, classroom teaching, etc.

    My advice, just jump in on a project, even a personal demo page, and get used to it. Learning by doing makes it stick.

  4. Richard Howarth says:

    I have to say that http://www.w3schools.com/ has everything you need - from tutorials for the beginner to details reference for the seasoned pro. It covers everything from HTML4+5, CSS2+3, DOM, javascript+jQuery, PHP...well, you get the idea.

  5. Matt says:

    I would argue that you need to know 4 before you can learn 5. Simply because most popular browsers simply can't do much of what HTML5 and CSS3 are capable of. Sure, if you start your career as a newbie in a few years time, you might be able to get away with starting fresh on HTML5, but you can't ignore the past (present) just yet!

  6. Ian Devlin says:

    I've just seen a lovely looking book mentioned in the HTML5 Weekly Newsletter which might be ideal: http://www.htmlandcssbook.com/ I've not seen the book myself yet, but it might be worth checking out.

  7. Kris Athi says:

    +1 for http://www.w3Schools.com. It has everything for the beginner. It's either that or set up a MySpace profile and style that

  8. Jason Bradberry says:

    Treehouse are doing an excellent job at teaching from the ground up, in a unique and productive way. There's also a really supportive community growing through the facebook group, which is a great place to ask those 'silly' questions.


  9. Hugo Daniel says:

    The mozilla developer network stuff is spot on for learning these new techs 🙂

  10. manoj says:

    free html template, psd template, jquery download http://www.mcwebdesigner.com/

  11. Mohan says:

    To Learn HTML5 with CSS3.

    Please follow the below link.


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