If you’ve ever landed on a website with stunning visuals and layouts, there’s a good chance it was achieved with the help of a programming language called CSS.
CSS, which stands for Cascading Style Sheets, is the language that sets the appearance of a website, including its fonts, color, and layout. It is a companion to the HTML language: HTML provides the content of a website, and CSS enhances the styling of the HTML content. Besides being used to create visually engaging websites, CSS is often used to enhance the aesthetics of user interfaces for web and mobile applications.
You may also come across CSS in popular content management system platforms such as WordPress or Squarespace, where it comes pre-packaged as themes. This allows you to choose the look and feel of your website, be it a photography portfolio or an online clothing store. Familiarity with CSS will come in handy if you intend to customize your website on these platforms, as they often allow you to modify the appearance by editing the CSS code.
As a website is often treated as a representation of a company’s brand or image, it’s worth ensuring that your website’s presentation makes a lasting impression on your target audience, and helps it to stand out from competitors.
Learning CSS can be a lot of fun. You can see your stylings — such as changing a background from blue to yellow, or enlarging an image when your cursor goes over it — reflected instantly as you write the code.
In addition to determining a website’s visual layout, CSS is used to ensure that a website stays consistent when viewed from various devices, like a mobile phone or tablet. This is called responsive web design, and it goes hand in hand with front-end frameworks, such as Bootstrap, to allow us to rapidly create a responsive mobile-first layout. Working knowledge of CSS will help when applying the CSS classes that comes with these frameworks, or when making changes to the pre-defined styling and layout.