Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

Description: You may have heard of them, but you might be wondering how easy they are to use and what they do. Read on to find out more.

All web pages, regardless of the topic and content, have a specific style. A holistic treatments website might use strong tones of blue and green in their layout, while a more news based website may prefer strict black and white tones to remain more serious in appearance.

The design of any new website is split into two main areas. Firstly you decide what you want to have on your website, and secondly you decide how that content is going to look. HTML will help you to structure the actual content, while cascading style sheets can help you to indicate how the finished pages will look when the website is viewed online.

Cascading style sheets are also very user friendly. If you create your whole website by using HTML, and you write all the documents and insert the code so that all the headings are in red, for example, that's the way it will show up on the finished web page.

But let's say you decide to change those red headings for blue ones. If you are still using HTML you will have to go through each individual page on the website and change the relevant pieces of HTML to ensure that the headings then come out in the right color.

If you were using CSS on the other hand, you would only need to make the change once and all the other pages would automatically be corrected as well. This is why cascading style sheets are called by this name. One written command from you cascades over every sheet in the set.

This makes CSS much more user friendly than HTML on its own. While HTML may be relatively easy to pick up in the first place, it does have its limitations. CSS, like any application which is new to you, will seem tricky at first but it's worth hanging in there and getting used to it. If you do, you will find that creating and amending websites will be much easier in future.

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