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Bulletproof Web Design: Improving Flexibility and Protecting Against Worst-Case Scenarios with XHTML and CSS

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No matter how visually appealing or packed with content your Web site is, it isn't succeeding if it's not reaching the widest possible audience. This work deconstructs a series of real-world Web sites. It provides 10 strategies for creating standards-based designs that provide user control - a component of every Web site.

270 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2005

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About the author

Dan Cederholm

13 books35 followers
A designer, author, speaker, husband and father living in Salem, Massachusetts. Dan is the Founder and Principal of SimpleBits, LLC, a tiny web design studio.

A recognized expert in the field of standards-based web design, Dan has worked with YouTube, Microsoft, Google, MTV, ESPN, Electronic Arts, Blogger, Fast Company, Inc. Magazine, and others. With each new project, comes an opportunity to minimize markup and embrace the flexibility of CSS.

Dan is co-founder and designer of Dribbble, a vibrant community for sharing screenshots of your work. Previously, he co-founded and designed Cork’d, the first social network for wine aficionados which was later acquired by Gary Vaynerchuk.

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5 stars
380 (41%)
4 stars
327 (35%)
3 stars
180 (19%)
2 stars
31 (3%)
1 star
7 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 25 of 25 reviews
Profile Image for Diana.
24 reviews5 followers
February 16, 2008
Awesome book! First web design book I was able to pick up, read and actually take it all in, without needing to read each chapter over and over. Dan Cederholm writes very down to earth and easy to understand.
3 reviews
December 31, 2009
Fantastic book. Dan makes web design an easy fun and colorful experience. Examples, tips and ideas are well presented and easy to follow.
Simply put, this book is a must have.
Profile Image for Chelsea.
5 reviews
August 19, 2019
Had to stop at the 50% mark. Started off really great–fresh writing and original concept. But the halt starts at about the 30% mark and never quite picks up again.
Profile Image for C.
1,089 reviews1,050 followers
April 30, 2012
The concepts behind "bulletproof" web design remain relevant, but the specific examples haven't aged well. Using code snippets and screenshots, Cedarholm shows how to replace bloated code with lean, semantic, accessible markup. The goal is bulletproof design: thinking ahead and designing for multiple scenarios, and protecting content. The book covers flexible text, fluid layouts, and making content readable without images or CSS.

Cedarholm's techniques were fine when the book was published in 2006, but some of them are outdated. For example, gradients and graphical rounded corners can now be done with CSS3.

I read this book because I liked the sequel, Handcrafted CSS (my review).


• For flexible text, set font-size on the element to a keyword like small. Set all other font sizes as percentages relative to the body size.
• Use ems for margins and padding on text elements so they resize proportionately to the text.
Profile Image for ZeV.
115 reviews21 followers
December 12, 2019
This was my favorite CSS book back in the day. I learned numerous nifty techniques to create web designs that were hard to break when browser compatibility issues abounded. I am looking for books that are comparable to this one, all updated to the current standards which are quite different from when Bolletproof Web Design was published.
Profile Image for Ryan Parman.
47 reviews33 followers
February 10, 2012
This is a well-written, practical book that gives you concrete, hands-on examples for how to write some of the best markup on earth. Highly recommended to any new web designers who are interested in how to better hone their craft.
Profile Image for Eric.
10 reviews2 followers
April 19, 2008
Dan Cederholm is an authority for a reason. He knows what he's talking about.

Don't even question it. Just buy it already. It will rescue you from countless hours of WTFing.
Profile Image for Widi.
9 reviews1 follower
January 7, 2010
This is book for my inspiration first web design.
Although i'm not yet read at all..
Profile Image for Janis.
127 reviews3 followers
May 18, 2009
Really excellent book on making both standards compliant design with CSS, but also building in precautions for careless users.
Profile Image for Lea Verou.
Author 2 books90 followers
August 14, 2010
Was a great book when it came out, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone today: Too outdated by now.
Profile Image for Luke Eastman.
3 reviews2 followers
November 8, 2011
Very good book. A bit outdated, but still has a lot of useful information and techniques that can be applied today.
Profile Image for Kevin Connery.
674 reviews3 followers
October 2, 2011
OK, but seriously out of date: spent a lot of time explaining how to deal with Netscape 4 and IE 5. Also spent more time on the technology, and virtually nothing on actual *design*
Profile Image for Paolo.
Author 4 books8 followers
December 15, 2011
(X)HTML strutturale e CSS in un approccio pratico ed elegante: dal menu di navigazione al layout della pagina, tecniche intelligenti a prova di Internet Explorer.
Profile Image for Lisa.
Author 2 books3 followers
December 28, 2012
One of my very first html books. This book helped me code by thinking of flexibility and different scenarios. It was a great starter book.
Profile Image for Fiona Darcy.
4 reviews
April 3, 2013
Excellent book for CSS best practice but needs to be updated for html5/CSS3
Profile Image for Arjan.
2 reviews
June 12, 2013
Pretty much turned me into the bright side of CSS programming.
Profile Image for Marian.
73 reviews6 followers
September 11, 2016
A bit outdated and some of it isn't relevant any longer but some good things also.
Profile Image for Sergio.
2 reviews
January 29, 2012
Concise, simple and direct. Also useful for novices and experienced designers as well
1 review
May 17, 2018
I started this book when the technology it covers was relevant. I never finished it and the technology is now thoroughly outdated.
Displaying 1 - 25 of 25 reviews

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