CSS basics Learn web development MDN

What you are seeing are the browser’s default styles — very basic styles — that the browser applies to HTML to make sure that the page will be basically readable even if no explicit styling is specified by the author of the page. By following best practices, developers can optimise CSS code and deliver exceptional user experiences on a variety of devices. Embracing the power of CSS will continue to play a pivotal role in shaping the web’s future. CSS serves as a web design language employed to govern the visual presentation of HTML elements. When tags like , and color attributes were added to the HTML 3.2
specification, it started a nightmare for web developers.

what does css stand for in coding

CSS is used to style and lay out web pages — for example, to alter the font, colour, size and spacing of your content, split it into multiple columns, or add animations and other decorative features. CSS and HTML work together with different areas of focus to create the webpage a user sees. These differing foci result because CSS is a stylesheet language, whereas HTML is a markup language.


(This is especially useful if you have a single page on a site that has a unique look.) An internal style sheet looks something like this. In this case, “p” (the paragraph) is called the “selector” — it’s the part of Cascading Style Sheets code specifying which HTML element the CSS styling will affect. In CSS, the selector is written to the left of the first curly bracket. The information between curly brackets is called a declaration, and it contains properties and values that are applied to the selector. This module carries on where CSS first steps left off — now you’ve gained familiarity with the language and its syntax, and got some basic experience with using it, it’s time to dive a bit deeper. This module looks at the cascade and inheritance, all the selector types we have available, units, sizing, styling backgrounds and borders, debugging, and lots more.

If a website was a house, HTML would be the structure of the house, and CSS would be the paint. Similarly, HTML provides the skeleton and the content of the website and CSS is used to add the skin and styling to it. With CSS, the design is separate from the content, making it easier to change the design without affecting the content.

Internal CSS

CSS Property is used to set the style or assign behavior of HTML elements. The CSS property contains two parts, property_name, and property_value. CSS also allows us to apply styles to certain element types, like h1, h2, p, etc. You can write them once and then they apply everywhere that file is relevant. The content is essentially the elements which make up the page. For example, the text, images, and headings make up the content.

Change the color code to the color you chose in What will my website look like?. In addition to HTML, other markup languages support the use of CSS including XHTML, plain XML, SVG, and XUL. The name cascading comes from the specified priority scheme to determine which declaration applies if more than one declaration of a property match a particular element.

What is CSS?

Web browsers implement the default styles to elements, which can be customized using CSS. Each rule or rule-set consists of one or more selectors, and a declaration block. CSS frameworks and libraries are pre-written CSS files that offer a set of ready-to-use styles and components. They can significantly speed up the web development process by providing a solid foundation and consistent design patterns. Some popular CSS frameworks include Bootstrap, Foundation and Bulma, the latest CSS framework introduced in the market.

Think of it like a set of instructions for your website, telling it how to look and feel. CSS is also used to optimize pages for responsive web design, and to create other advanced visuals such as hover effects. If you’re interested in becoming a web developer, you may have also asked yourself how a programmer is able to alter the appearance of those pages using code. The answer to these questions is CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, which is the language responsible for the visual element of every kind of website.

Hands-on learning

This further decouples the styling from the HTML document and makes it possible to restyle multiple documents by simply editing a shared external CSS file. It is also recommended that you work through Getting started with the web before proceeding with this topic, especially if you are completely new to web development. However, much web development css cascading of what is covered in its CSS basics article is also covered in our CSS first steps module, albeit in a lot more detail. They perform well under moderate system load, whereas simple animations tend to perform poorly in JavaScript. The rendering engine can use frame skipping and other techniques to maintain smooth performance.

  • Well, if HTML is the first language you’ll want to learn when you’re interested in building websites, its cousin CSS is a close second coding language to learn.
  • Additionally, most common laptop and desktop computers allow windows that software and browsers launch to be reshaped into various sizes.
  • In the Introduction to HTML module, we covered what HTML is and how it is used to mark up documents.

If you’re new to web development, be sure to read our CSS basics article to learn what CSS is and how to use it. CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets and plays an important role in providing the styles to the HTML elements, which helps to make web pages presentable. CareerFoundry is an online school for people looking to switch to a rewarding career in tech. Select a program, get paired with an expert mentor and tutor, and become a job-ready designer, developer, or analyst from scratch, or your money back.

Additionally, you won’t be able to use the same CSS style on multiple pages as it’s contained within a single page. Having everything on one page makes it easier to share the template for a preview. In short, with CSS features you don’t need to repeatedly describe how individual elements look. This saves time, shortens the code, and makes it not as prone to errors. As a newcomer to CSS, it is likely that you will find the CSS specs overwhelming — they are intended for engineers to use to implement support for the features in user agents, not for web developers to read to understand CSS.

what does css stand for in coding

Now it’s time to look at how to place your boxes in the right place with respect to the viewport, and one another. This means you can do all the styling on a separate file and apply the CSS to any page you want. That’s what web pages with only HTML look like, and I think you’d agree that that’s not very appealing.Before using CSS, all of the stylizing had to be included into the HTML markup. This means web developers had to separately describe the background color, font size, alignments, etc. The style definitions are normally saved in external .css files. A document is usually a text file structured using a markup language — HTML is the most common markup language, but you may also come across other markup languages such as SVG or XML.

Properly implemented CSS can enhance web accessibility by making content more readable and adaptable to various devices. In this CSS tutorial, you’ll learn how to add CSS to visually transform HTML into eye-catching sites. This module contains the following articles, which will take you through all the basic theory of CSS, and provide ample opportunity for you to test out some skills. Use our color picker to find different RGB, HEX and HSL colors. The browser support status is shown on every MDN CSS property page in a table named “Browser compatibility”.

what does css stand for in coding