How can you start learning web development? Is it easy? In general, everyone can create a website, right? Although it would be better to assume that anyone can learn how to build websites. Well-done website development involves many skills that should all work together.

Before you begin your journey into learning web development, the very first thing you need to start with is to find the right resources to learn.

Based on the fact that everyone has different learning styles, some prefer online courses, some prefer video tutorials, and many people still love and trust their studies with books.

It is worth noting that training in website coding is a complex but useful goal. You need to learn a lot, and to master things truly, it takes several months of practice.

The fact is that there is not a single best web development book to learn. However, there are many great books to learn about web development from scratch. If you want to learn web development, several books are great for beginners. Many of them are even used (active voice is needed)as textbooks for classes in educational institutions. And here we start learning the web.

Web Design and Web Development Books for Beginners

The first book to suggest is a series of books written by John Duckett. These other books, in particular, will be very helpful at the beginning of learning the basics.

Design and Build Websites by Jon Duckett

This book by Jon Duckett is incredibly popular. If you are a beginner in designing or web development and just recently started learning HTML and CSS, then this book is the best choice to learn everything from scratch to an advanced level. The quality of content in this book is beneficial, also the presentation of everything is well organized. You will find the definition of every topic along with the code and its output. Jon Duckett has made code so visual so that everybody can easily understand it. Graphics are wonderful in this book, and all the properties, examples, code is explained using a color-coding system to differentiate everything. It has magazine-style layouts and designs with high-quality pages.

JavaScript and JQuery
Interactive Front-End Web Development, by Jon Duckett

To add functionality in HTML and CSS code, recommend following this book written by Jon Duckett. All JavaScript concepts are apparent and presented in a well-structured and organized way from scratch in this book. Jon Duckett is expertise in JavaScript, and this book will teach how to use JavaScript in real-world applications taking a realistic example. In the beginning, learning about the fundamentals, DOM manipulation, and handling user events in JavaScript and then slowly will be moving to jQuery.

You Don’t Know JS
Up & Going, by Kyle Simpson

If you have some basic JavaScript knowledge, then you may want to push yourself even further with best practices & coding standards. That’s where You Don’t Know JS can come in handy.

It’s a very short book with only 88 pages but split into multiple titles. I actually recommend getting the digital version since you can download all the titles together onto one device and work through the lessons individually.

This series of books aims to improve your existing JS skill set by forcing you to think about the code you’re writing. How could it be more efficient? What are you doing that could be automated? Do you have any vulnerabilities in your codebase?

By working through these lessons, you’ll learn how to improve your current workflow and how to build scalable JavaScript web apps.

JavaScript Secrets
Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja, by John Resig and Bear Bibeault

One other JS-focused book is called the Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja. It’s authored by several skilled developers, including the creator of jQuery John Resig.

This book will take you from a semi-experienced novice to a pro in the field of JavaScript coding. As the title suggests, it really will teach you how to be a code ninja and whip up immaculate JS libraries from scratch.

You can’t always attack software head-on. Sometimes you come at it sideways or sneak up from behind. You need to master an arsenal of tools and know every stealthy trick. You have to be a ninja.

Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja leads you down the pathway to JavaScript enlightenment. This unique book starts with key concepts, like the relationships between functions, objects, and closures, taught from the master’s perspective. You’ll grow from apprentice to ninja as you soak up fresh insights on the techniques you use every day and discover features and capabilities you never knew about. When you reach the final chapters, you’ll be ready to code brilliant JavaScript applications and maybe even write your own libraries and frameworks.

Best Books for Mid-Level to Advanced Programmers

This section is the books recommended for the mid-level to the advanced and also general career advice for an aspiring web developer or programmer.

Learning Web Development and Design Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Graphics, By Jennifer Niederst Robbins

This book has a ton of exercises to test and experiment with your code, and that will make your concepts more transparent. The title of this book mentions that the book is for beginners, but most of the beginners find that it has advanced topics, so if you already have basic knowledge of web designs, then this book is best for you to have in-depth experience in web designing. If you are a beginner, we recommend you to learn basics first then pick up this book.

This thoroughly revised edition is ideal for students and professionals of all backgrounds and skill levels, whether you’re a beginner or brushing up on existing skills.

  • Build HTML pages with text, links, images, tables, and forms.
  • Use style sheets (CSS) for colors, backgrounds, formatting text, page layout, and even simple animation effects.
  • Learn about the new HTML5 elements, APIs, and CSS3 properties that are changing what you can do with web pages.
  • Make your pages display well on mobile devices by creating a responsive web design.
  • Learn how JavaScript works—and why the language is so important in web design.
  • Create and optimize web graphics so they’ll download as quickly as possible.

Server-Side Web Development, by Jon Duckett

For Developers wanting to learn PHP and MySQL, Jon Duckett also has a great book that matches the same style as the last two with great information and vivid images and examples.

If you are currently learning PHP and MySQL or are planning to in the future, you should have this one in your collection as well.

Some bundles let you buy all three together for a better price. You just can’t go wrong with Jon Duckett’s line of books and I recommend them to everyone.

Eloquent JavaScript
A Modern Introduction to Programming 3rd Edition, by Marijn Haverbeke

This book is a classic and a great introduction to the world of JavaScript. If you want to dive headfirst into JavaScript, this is a great first book to start with.

This book is a classic and a great introduction to the world of JavaScript. If you want to dive headfirst into JavaScript, this is a great first book to start with.

This book is a classic and a great introduction to the world of JavaScript. If you want to dive headfirst into JavaScript, this is a great first book to start with.

This is an excellent choice for anyone wanting a great, in-depth book on everything JavaScript.

The Self-Taught Programmer
The Definitive Guide to Programming Professionally, by Cory Althoff

This book is a gem, and I enjoyed reading it on my kindle. Though I skimmed parts of the book because I
wasn’t focused on learning Python development at the time, It is perfect for anyone wanting to see what it is like to progress as a web developer in the industry.

It goes over a lot of Python-related programming, so anyone learning Python would enjoy this book even more.

Even if you are just getting started, this is a great overview perspective from someone who has gone through all the stages of learning and advancement as a career.

What Books Do Redwerk Developers Recommend?

PHP Objects, Patterns, and Practice, by Matt Zandstra

This book takes you beyond the PHP basics to the enterprise development practices used by professional programmers. Updated for PHP 5.3 with new sections on closures, namespaces, and continuous integration, this edition will teach you about object features such as abstract classes, reflection, interfaces, and error handling. You’ll also discover object tools to help you learn more about your classes, objects, and methods. Then you’ll move into design patterns and the principles that make patterns powerful. You’ll learn both classic design patterns and enterprise and database patterns with easy-to-follow examples. Finally, you’ll discover how to put it all into practice to help turn great code into successful projects. You’ll learn how to manage multiple developers with Subversion and how to build and install using Phing and PEAR. You’ll also learn strategies for automated testing and building, including continuous integration. Taken together, these three elements-object fundamentals, design principles, and best practices will help you develop elegant and rock-solid systems. You’ll learn to work with object fundamentals: writing classes and methods, instantiating objects and creating powerful class hierarchies using inheritance. Master advanced object-oriented features, including static methods and properties. Learn how to manage error conditions with exceptions, and create abstract classes and interfaces. Understand and use design principles to deploy objects and classes effectively in your projects.Learn about design patterns, their purpose and structure, and the underlying principles that govern them.

Head First Java, 2nd Edition, by Bert Bates, Kathy Sierra

The first edition of this daring book introduced a highly interactive, multi-sensory method for learning Java that enables new programmers and non-programmers alike to pick up the fundamentals of the Java language, so they can begin to design and write Java programs quickly. The approach has been so successful that we’ve released several other, more specialized Head First titles into the Java market. Head First Java teaches Java basics by engaging readers on many different levels; it stimulates their abilities in pattern matching and deduction, activates auditory pathways, as well as visual pathways and deeper thought. The book even provides alternative ways to experience the book-users can read a chapter start-to-finish, or simply skim the visual story of the chapter, and still learn! Because Java 5.0, the latest version of the Java language and development platform, is a major update with many changes, the learning method in this book’s new edition takes on even greater significance.


With these books, any beginning web developer and designer will give themselves a head start and a firm foundation for growing into a talented and successful web professional.

Whether you are taking an online course or following along with tutorials on YouTube, these books will help you by having an in-hand resource to refer back to.

Many of these selections are tutorials within themselves and you can learn the basics with only the book itself.

It’s tough to whittle down this list since each person comes into web development from different skill levels with different goals.

But generally speaking, recommended starting with the Duckett book HTML & CSS, followed by his JavaScript & jQuery book. They will give you a solid ground to stand on, and from there, you can branch out into any languages that catch your attention.