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What is CSS - Brief Introduction to Cascading Style Sheets

 

What is CSS - Brief Introduction to Cascading Style Sheets

 

HTML was originally designed as a simple way of presenting information, with the aesthetics of a web page being far less important than the content (and largely being left up to the web browser). Of course, now that the web has become as popular as it has, the presentation of your content has become almost critical to a sites success. CSS is the key presentational technology that is used to design websites.

 What are Stylesheets?

 

In the late 90s, HTML coders noticed that they were retyping the same old tags again and again on the same page, leading to bigger HTML files and above all, time consumption and frustration. You may have found yourself in the same situation, adding in mountains of <font> tags, despite wanting them all the same; or using tricks like invisible gifs for spacing.

Then, someone had a great idea: have one file that defines all the values that those piles of tags would have done, and then have all your pages checking this file and formatting your pages accordingly. You can therefore leave out most of the formatting tags in HTML and use only nice structural elements (like headings, paragraphs and links) - separating structure and presentation.

In late 1996 CSS (Cascading StyleSheets) became a reality, forged by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Your stylesheet acts as a partner to your HTML code; taking care of all the layout, fonts, colours and overall look of your site.

If you ever decide to change the look of your site, you modify that one CSS file (your style sheet) and all the HTML pages reading from that file will display differently. This makes maintenance of your design much easier.

 Benefits of CSS

 

Another of CSSs boons is that you define things once, making it far more efficient than defining everything in HTML on every page. This means:

1) Pages download faster, sometimes by as much as 50%
2) You have to type less code, and your pages are shorter and neater.
3) The look of your site is kept consistent throughout all the pages that work off the same stylesheet.
4) Updating your design and general site maintenance are made much easier, and errors caused by editing multiple HTML pages occur far less often.

Well-authored CSS also improves the accessibility of web content, allowing access through myriad devices (handheld PDAs for example) and ensuring that web users with disabilities are still able to receive it. It also eliminates the need for browser-specific hacks and tags, which means your site has a better chance of working across all major browsers.

Initially vaguely intimidating, CSS is a well-designed, elegant language. It is hugely important for the future of web design, and has been pivotal in helping designers move away from the problematic, hack-ridden days of presentational HTML tags like <font>, and allowed us to return to using logical, structural elements which make our sites more accessible.

All that, and there are dozens of powerful extra formatting options and possibilities available through stylesheet commands that are not possible through normal HTML. Youll see these later on when we get on to things like backgrounds, spacing, layers and borders.

 SliceMaker Deluxe - Create DIV and CSS Automatically

 

If you are still unfamiliar with CSS but want to create a CSS based website, SliceMaker Deluxe can be your good assistant. With this professional webpage making software, you dont have to write the DIV and CSS codes. On the contrary, you just need to import your web design image and slice the image and then the software will help you automatically create DIV and CSS. With SliceMaker Deluxe, you can create wonderful webpage for your own within several simple clicks; it will maximally improve your work efficiency on webpage making.

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