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Simple Introduction to CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

Updated on November 28, 2015
Screenshot of a CSS code
Screenshot of a CSS code

Some of the benefits of using CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) for website design.

If you have ever created a website or webpage, or are planning to do so, Cascading Style Sheets (more commonly known as CSS) is something that would be extremely useful. CSS is a style sheet language that is used to style (styles define how the HTML elements get displayed) webpages written in HTML, XHTML and basically any other programming language like ASP, PHP and XML etc...

Instead of having to modify or create the type of font or link display you want on every page manually, CSS enables you to easily do so all within one page (file); allowing you to style/format your (multiple) webpages efficiently and conveniently from a single source. All it takes is a link to your Cascading Style Sheet in your webpages, be it a HTML or ASP page. By doing so, you will be separating the code of the website (display elements) from the actual content/media (images, words etc...). This in turn makes it easier to update your webpages more efficiently, especially on a larger scale, ensuring that there is consistency throughout your website.

By separating content from presentation, you would be able to:

  1. Have faster loading pages - as the presentation (the bulk of your website) is separated from the content, pages would be loaded considerably faster as all the necessary styles are contained in a single style sheet.
  2. Reduce website code clutter and have files with a smaller file size - as the content is separated from the presentation, a lot of extra (not required) HTML codes is eliminated. This in turn makes your website's code neater and easier to edit should the need arise, and also reduces the size of your HTML page file; which helps to reduce page loading times as well.
  3. Save time and money - CSS enables you to design or modify your website at a faster pace than with the traditional tables, and helps you shorten the development process because many websites would use similar style sheets, needing only a couple of modifications to personalize it. The same CSS codes can be re-used and modified accordingly with ease.
  4. Maximize search engine optimization - CSS allows you to easily structure the content to appear first with the rest of the code after the content. By doing so, this improves the chances that your website will receive a high search engine ranking; helping you outrank competitors who may have their navigation followed by their content. The reason being that visitors to your website are not looking at your code but for content on your website; which is a factor in determining the relevance of a webpage when a search phrase is entered.

Although not all websites are using CSS yet, there is a rising trend of corporate and large content-based websites using CSS for the development and maintenance of their websites; especially so when it comes to the maintenance of these websites'.



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