Mastering CSS – A Book Review

May 17, 2006

Last week, I bought CSS Mastery by Andy Budd. I have been working with CSS for page layout for about 3 years. The first year was mainly learning through tutorials from Macromedia and trial and error. I also spent time away working on fund raising for my ministry role with Campus Crusade for Christ. About a year ago I implemented my first site using CSS and XHTML for layout. Since then, I have done about 5 more designs including several for this site, now using version 2.5. I would consider my CSS knowledge and experience as intermediate. So I was excited to get this book and improve my skills.

And I have not been disappointed. I have only read a couple of chapters of the book, but it has already been very helpful. The first chapter alone was worth it for me. I went back and rewrote the code for a site that I have been working on. Because I had a better grasp of some foundational principles, I was able to implement better coding which cut down on the amount of code and needless div tags. I appreciated all the tips that Andy gave on structuring, planning, organizing and maintaining stylesheets. I learned so much from only 25 pages. And I was able to immediately implement what I learned.

This morning I read the second chapter on the visual formatting model (box model and positioning) while waiting for new tires to be installed on my car. I was restless with ideas as I gained a better grasp on these foundational concepts. I can’t wait to start using this knowledge to build better layouts and implement better solutions. I just barely got into the next chapter on background images and image replacement. My mouth is watering with anticipation of what I am going to learn next. I can’t wait to learn more and using it in practice.

This is the most practical book on CSS that I have read or looked at. I have tried to work through some others books that are mostly exercises. I gain some insights here and there. But this book has taught me so much and really filled in my foundational knowledge so that I can take my CSS to the next level. This is going to be one of the books that stays on my shelf for quick reference.


  1. Mark

    June 10th, 2007

    Thank You

  2. Refresh06

    December 24th, 2007

    […] I am taking 2 crash courses, CSS Mastery with Andy Budd and Understanding AJAX with Jeremy Keith. Andy’s book on CSS Mastery is one of the best books I have read on CSS. I am looking forward to hearing from him and […]