Cascading style sheet (CSS) is a programming language that defines how a page requested by the client is to be rendered in the web browser. It is used in conjunction with HTML or XHTML markup languages. CSS can be used to manipulate page colors making pages to be more attractive, font size to make pages readable, and spacing between elements in a page, design attractive themes and page navigation property, images and background of the page. As defined by ww.w3schools.com, a body that sets the standards and guidelines of web design, there are several benefits that may possibly be achieved when CSS styling is employed in website design (Henick 211).
Why use CSS styles in web design
The most important is the benefit achieved by separation of the web content in HTML or XHTML and the styles definition in CSS. This facilitates easy and speedy maintenance of the website since all the CSS files are strategically located at one point where they can be easily accessed and modified very fast then applied to the whole website. Not only consistency in presentation, but also robustness of the website is manifested unlike when pages are rendered using tables (Grannell 349).
The ability of CSS files to be stored externally makes HTML or XHTML files to only store the content of the page thus significantly reducing the size of the files. This lowers the bandwidth needed to load pages for the reason that CSS files are loaded once when a page is requested for the first time hence reduced load time and bring down the hosting expenses (Powell 415). Use of CSS in web design also increases website’s adaptability to different circumstances such as browser compatibility, diverse devices and also the interest of making a website to accommodate a lot of media services. For example, you may want to allow the same markup page to be accessed using a mobile phone device or to be sent to the printer by creating a separate CSS file for the printer or the mobile phone device.
In addition, a CSS style saves a programmer a lot of extraneous html code as a result making website code easy to understand, read and also present. This makes the code simpler and therefore can be given to another programmer to manipulate without much difficulty. Using CSS2′s acoustic properties, the programmer is able to provide information to user with disabilities such as visually impaired and voice-browser users (Freeman 25). The CSS2 media types allows the programmer and users to design CSS files that will make pages to be rendered correctly in special devices such as speech synthesizers, braille devices.
An example of a URL
www.sendsmsnow.com, is an example of a website that uses CSS to design attractive page layouts through subdivision of the page into several columns instead of using tables. The layout of the website page is such that it has not CSS codes and thus contributing to its impressive appearance (Duckett 232). The website also loads more rapidly, more user friendly and also ranked highly.
Duckett, Jon. Beginning Web Programming with HTML, XHTML, and CSS. Michigan: John Wiley and Sons, 2008. 231-241.
Freeman, Elisabeth, and Freeman Eric. Head first HTML with CSS & XHTML. New York: O’Reilly Media, 2006. 24-45.
Grannell, Craig. The Essential Guide to CSS and HTML Web Design. Michigan: Apress, 2007. 345-365.
Henick, Ben. HTML & CSS: The Good Parts. New York: O’Reilly Media, 2009. 210-231.
Powell, Thomas. HTML & CSS: the complete reference. New York: McGraw Hill Professional, 2010. 411-431.