Just when you’re nice and comfy and feeling rather proud of your accomplishments, everything changes! A big part of being a designer is keeping up with the ever-changing technology. For all of us who have been procrastinating about making the leap from HTML table-based design to XHTML and CSS, the time has come. Be brave, you can do it!
As always, I didn’t make this jump on a nice simple 4-page site. No, that’s not the way I do things; I jumped into a 40-page corporate site. Needless to say, I’ve spent the last two weeks working out all of the little nuances of CSS positioning (and pulling out some hair). It’s not so bad, once you realize that “static” positioning isn’t really static and “absolute” is really relative. Yikes! Not to worry, I’ve discovered some pretty good resources for becoming a CSS guru.
A good book for beginners is Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML by Elisabeth Freeman & Eric Freeman. This will give you a solid foundation. After that, move on to Eric Meyer on CSS: Mastering the Language of Web Design, by Eric Meyer. Also, be sure to check out the site Zen Garden – The Beauty of CSS Design to see wonderful examples of how dramatically a site design can be changed with CSS alone. You can even download the HTML and CSS files and try your hand at altering the design. Last but not least, let’s not forget the W3C. They’re always there for us when we need them. Now, go for it–dive in and let’s get rid of all those tables! Check back for more CSS tips each month.