Responsive Web Design with HTML5 & CSS, Fourth Edition – #bookreview

This fourth edition of Ben Frain’s Responsive Web Design with HTML5 and CSS continues an information flow that has now spanned a decade and helped numerous new and experienced web designers. The book is well written and well illustrated with plenty of code examples to support key topics and instructions. The major principles of responsive web design have not changed greatly over the past ten years. But the web world itself continues to evolve in many areas. This new edition covers numerous new topics as well updated chapters.

Frain has structured this book in three sections. The first section, “The Fundamentals of Responsive Web Design,” contains five chapters covering fundamental principles, as well as HTML markup, media queries and container queries, fluid layout and flexbox, and layout with CSS Grid.


The second section, titled “Core Skills for Effective Front-End Web Development,” has eight chapters that dig deeper into CSS and web typography, CSS color, creating good aesthetics with CSS, CSS filters, line and radial gradients, and more. Some of the chapters focus on responsive images, including AVIF and WebF formats, plus SVG graphics in documents, and the use of transitions, transformation, and animations. Two of the eight chapters are devoted to custom properties and CSS functions.

The third section, “Latest Plaform Features and Parting Advice,” consists of just two chapters, but they examine cutting-edge CSS features, useful techniques drawn from experience, and helpful advice for web designers wanting to become more “responsive.” One key recommendation is to “get designs up and running in a browser environment as soon as possible,” a move that can benefit web designers as well as those who double as web developers.

New and intermediate web designers and designer-developers can find a wealth of useful information and how-to examples in this important book. Old hands at web design and web development may learn a few new tricks and techniques from it, as well.

My thanks to Packt Publishing for sending an advance reader’s copy of Responsive Web Design with HTML and CSS, Fourth Edition for review.



  • Si Dunn is a novelist, screenwriter, photojournalist, and book reviewer. His published books include: DARK SIGNALS, a Vietnam War memoir; ERWIN'S LAW, a private-detective novel; and JUMP, a novella about a combat veteran suffering from PTSD and alienation while trying to work for newspapers as a journalist. Several of his feature screenplays recently were under option to movie producers. He spent nearly 15 years working as a technical writer and software tester in the telecommunications industry. His current programming interests include Go, JavaScript, Python, R, Angular, and other languages and frameworks. He is a U.S. Navy veteran and a graduate of the University of North Texas.

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