What Is CSS? How Does It Work?

what is css

What Is CSS? How Does It Work?

CSS is one of the main cornerstones of web technologies. CSS is used along with HTML and JavaScript in most websites to create user interfaces for websites and applications.

So, what is CSS? How does it work? Why is it important?

CSS or Cascading Style Sheets is a style sheet language used to define the visual appearance and formatting of HTML documents. CSS determines the visual structure, layout, and aesthetics.

HTML makes it possible to format and organize a web page. Although HTML is very useful, it is not enough to build a professional and fully responsive website. Using HTML, we can only add text elements and format the content structure.

However, HTML works wonders with two other languages: CSS and JavaScript. When used together, a rich user experience can be created by adding advanced functions.

HTML is a markup language, and CSS is a style sheet language. It helps to style your web pages by interacting with HTML elements. Elements are the individual HTML components of a page such as a title or a paragraph. CSS defines the “look and feel” of a website.

CSS is among the core languages of the web. It is standardized across web browsers according to W3C specifications. (W3C creates and oversees web standards)

How to Use CSS?

CSS can be added to HTML documents in 3 ways.

Internal CSS

Internal CSS code is placed in the <head> section of a particular page. Classes and identifiers can be used to specify the code. However, the internal CSS is only active on the specific page it is added to. CSS styles placed in this way need to be loaded each time the page is opened. Thus, increases the loading time.

However, in some cases, it can be reasonable to use an internal style. For example, when sending someone a page template – it will be much easier to see a preview since everything will be on one page.

External CSS

The most convenient way to use CSS on a website is to link it to an external .css file. This way, any changes you make to an external file will affect the website as a whole. A link to an external CSS file is also placed in the <head> section of the page.

External CSS is a frequently used method in web pages because it reduces the size of HTML pages and helps to increase page speed.

Inline CSS

Inline CSS is used for a specific HTML tag. The <style> attribute is used to style a specific HTML tag. It is not recommended to use CSS in this way as each HTML element must be styled individually in this option. Managing a website can get very difficult if you only use inline CSS. However, if you just want to style a single element this option can be useful.

Using external style sheets is the most efficient method for implementing CSS on a website. It makes it simple to keep track of and implement a site’s style from a dedicated CSS file during the web design process. Internal style sheets and inline style can be used as occasion requires. Especially when style changes need to be made on a single page or an element.

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