What is CSS?

What is CSS?

What is CSSWhen it comes to web design, a common question that gets asked is “What is CSS?”. CSS is a very important aspect in website design because of the fact that it’s almost completely about design, rather than function. But before we get into that, let’s take a look into what exactly CSS is.

Acronym Breakdown for CSS

CSS stands for “Cascading Style Sheets”. Although that may clarify the breakdown of the acronym “CSS”, it doesn’t quite define exactly what it is. So let’s break down each part of it:

The word “cascading” was probably best defined by user “seanyboy” on stackoverflow when he said the following:

“Cascading” in this context means that because more than one stylesheet rule could apply to a particular piece of HTML, there has to be a known way of determining which specific stylesheet rule applies to which piece of HTML.

The rule used is chosen by cascading down from the more general rules to the specific rule required. The most specific rule is chosen.

So to put it simply, just as a waterfall cascades (pours down), a computer program will look over your code from the top down and determine which rule to apply to the design of your website. An example of this would be if you had one piece of code that said a paragraph needed to be blue, but then there’s another piece of code that says it needs to be red. Which rule is going to be the most important? This can be answered by applying CSS and telling the program “Hey, I know that you’re going to read my code from top to bottom and whatever you read last is what you’ll apply, but I’m going to tell you with CSS that I want you to apply this rule instead”.

So what about style sheet? I haven’t quite answered that yet, so let’s take a look at what exactly a stylesheet is and the significance of it with regard to CSS.

A style sheet is simply something you create that determines the layout of a page, the margins, the fonts and the overall structure.

This may seem a little confusing at first, but let’s go over it a little more to see if we can make it more clear.


How CSS is Used

One example use of CSS is to make websites responsive. By responsive we mean that the size and dimensions of your site will respond according to the type of device you use. If you have a large computer screen, you’ll notice that a website looks significantly different on an iPhone or tablet. That’s because the combination of HTML code with the CSS has created a set of instructions that say “If a guy visits the website on a small screen, we’ll just adjust the dimensions of everything so that it fits properly.”

Another thing that you often see on websites is animations and transitions. Animations are very common in modern websites. Most “dull” or “old” looking websites are made only in HTML and lack the life that you can get with CSS. Take a look at a few websites and notice how animated and lively they are.

Yet another useful trick that is done in CSS is creating filters for images. You can adjust certain aspects of an image with filters by using CSS (such as how much red or grey is in a picture, how blurry or fine it is, etc.).

Overall CSS is a very important aspect to the design of your website. Some web designers focus solely on HTML programming which is unfortunate because these websites often lack the aesthetics that can be produced by someone who also knows CSS.

If you’re interested in having a website that functions well and also looks good, give us a call! We also have our website estimate form if you’re interested in getting a quote on your web design. We’re one of the more affordable companies in Nashville, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

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