Web, CSS, XHTML, Web Design, web design tools and reference sites
The first book I read with regards CSS web design and development was the brilliant The ZEN of CSS Design: Visual Enlightenment for the Web (Voices That Matter) by Dave Shea. It trully open my eyes to what can be achieved using the CSS/XHTML combination. Before this I had only ever seen very boring looking designs, and had always opted for the ridged table design. It took a while to get my head round the different but logical approach to CSS design and implementation but there is no chance of me ever going back I’ve found myself using it even on my smaller sites.
First port of call when in need of reference and guidance has always got to be the W3C Schools CSS Reference. Other great reference sites include CSSVault, CSS Beauty. For inspiration the CSS ZEN Garden Project is always my first port of call, gets you thinking out of the box and sites like The Favorite Web Site Awards are a great source of design inspiration
Fellow website & software designer I worked closely with for many years is Chris Yates @ Blueapplestudios.co.uk. Comes highly recommended.
W3C Markup Validation Service, a free service that checks Web documents in formats like HTML and XHTML for conformance to W3C Recommendations and other standards.
WebXACT is a free online service that lets you test single pages of web content for quality, accessibility, and privacy issues.
Other Useful Tools
Broadband Speed Tester. I’m sure there are many out there, but this one I feel is definately worth a try and has a great interface. Allows you to test your Internet connection bandwidth to locations around the world with this interactive broadband speed test.
Colour Blender is a great free tool that makes it easier to choose a complementary colour pallete.