Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a style sheet language that permits web designers to attach style like spacing, color, font, etc. to HTML documents. Cascading style sheets work similarly to a template; permitting web developers to label style for an HTML element and after that apply it to the number of web pages required. Thus, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are collections of formatting rules, which control the appearance of content in a web page. With CSS styles you have great flexibility and control of the exact page appearance; from precise positioning of layout to specific fonts and styles. CSS offers tremendous benefits for web developers willing to grasp its functions and understand its qualities; therefore it is crucial for every professional web designer to understand its benefits and use CSS accordingly. So what does CSS have to offer? To be precise, CSS offers five main benefits for web development.

1. Easy maintenance of the website: Maintenance of a website made with CSS is much easier compared to the ones which are table based. CSS splits the presentation style of documents from the content of documents and makes the website more manageable. Apart from being able to make site extensive changes with no trouble through one CSS file, the clean code it generates makes it easier to update. With CSS, when you decide to craft a change, you simply alter the style, and that element is updated automatically throughout the site. So, if you have to alter the color of all pages in your site, you only have to edit one style sheet.

2. CSS makes your website SEO friendly: The search engines spiders are very lethargic. They do not go through the bundles of HTML codes to get to the indexed codes. Font tags and tables make the HTML code very cumbersome thus reducing the accuracy of the results. If you use external CSS files to design and determine the design attributes, the HTML code will be clean and it will result in better search engine rankings. Because modern search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN love light-weighted websites. They want to see your content; the text, not the code. With CSS everything is possible. You practically externalize excessive code into an external file, thus leaving the actual page clean and simple.

3. CSS makes your website more accessible: The number of users browsing the web through hand held devices is continuously growing. It is estimated that by 2008, one third of the world’s population will be using hand held devices for accessing Internet. It is important that your site is accessible to them. CSS benefits accessibility by separating document structure from presentation. By separating style from markup, webmasters can simplify and clean up the HTML, making the documents more accessible, which is not achievable with a tabular layout.

4. CSS increases the download speed of your website: CSS code downloads faster than tables. Browsers read through tables twice before displaying their contents, first to work out their structure and then to determine their content. CSS generally requires less code than tables. All code connected to layout can be placed in an external CSS document which will be called up just once and then stored on the user’s computer.

5. CSS makes your website more professional: CSS makes the links of the website look more attractive and dynamic. Using CSS, you can slot in rollovers easily and effectively, without using a single character of JavaScript. Thus, CSS gives your websites a professional look. It is wise to use CSS in accord with the current trends of the industry. All major browsers like Firefox, Explorer, and Google’s Chrome presently recognize CSS.

-Eldar Gaziev

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