What Is CSS?
Before you proceed on learning the answer to “what is CSS (Cascading Style Sheets),” it is important that you have some basic understanding about HTML or XHTML first. However, it is okay if you still proceed on reading this article, since this can help you on broadening your knowledge about web pages and web development.
Cascading Style Sheets is a language that web developers can use to describe the look and formatting of a web page. Before CSS was introduced, web developers were required to describe an element’s font color, font size, border style, alignment, and background style one by one. Because of that, styling a web page back then is a very mundane and time-consuming process.
CSS has solved that styling issue by letting developers move all the styling and presentation codes to a separate file. Because of that, using CSS can significantly reduce the clutter and complexity of any written code on an HTML markup. Moreover, it also lessens the need of including style codes for every separate HTML file since pages can share formatting and style coded from one CSS file. In addition, because of the simplicity of the syntax of this language and the usage of English to the style properties, users find it easy to create a CSS file.
On the other hand, because of CSS’ innovation in web development, the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) has deprecated presentational HTML markup and is now encouraging the use of CSS instead. In addition, some browsers are slowly stopping supporting deprecated tags to help on enforcing the usage of CSS on web developers’ web pages further.
There are three ways to implement CSS on to a web page. The first one is to put the styling information inside an element’s tag. This is called an inline style, and it is prioritized to be followed by the browser even if a style is already available on an external CSS file. The second way is to embed a block of CSS code on the style tag of an HTML markup; this kind of styling is called embedded. The last way of styling via CSS is through a separate file or document, and it is the least prioritized by the browser on all three author-made cascaded style sheets.
However, if the user has created a user style on his browser, everything that was specified on that the user’s style sheet would be prioritized, and the browser will ignore the author’s styling code. On the other hand, if a web page does not have any styles on it and the user did not set any styling sheet, the browser’s default style will be implemented to the web page.
That is the brief definition of cascading style sheet. Even if you are a beginner in web development, you will certainly appreciate the advantage CSS brings in coding a web page. Moreover, never forget the priority of style sheets. Always remember that browsers prioritize user styles highly, and then inline style, embedded style, external style, and default style. Once you master CSS, your web pages would definitely become more presentable