Style sheets complement the HTML format, a programming language used to create web pages. While HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is responsible for the content and structure of the page, CSS, the “Cascading Style Sheet”, defines the appearance of the page and its elements. The great advantage of this separation is that changes to the content do not affect the design, while conversely design changes do not affect the content. Likewise, the error relevance is reduced, since only one element needs to be edited at a time.
What stylesheets can do?
CSS is a programming language that can be used to implement almost any design idea within a website. For example, it is possible to format fonts and define orders in terms of formatting. If a text is defined as “Heading 1”, a certain font is assigned to it; if it is marked as “Heading 2”, it is assigned a different font. It is also possible to define spacing to subsequent lines or paragraphs. This is not possible in the HTML language. Besides formatting text, CSS can do much more. For example, all HTML elements can be individually designed in terms of background color and image or frames around text fields, lists or tables. Positioning of elements or graphics is also defined here. With the corresponding CSS property, it is also possible to influence the browser window. For example, the appearance of the mouse pointer can be changed.
Professional web design with CSS
With CSS it is possible to design websites individually and professionally. The possibility to define central formats for several HTML pages also helps. Element properties can be noted externally in a single file and then included in several parallel HTML pages at the same time. If a change is required, it is made in the stylesheet and then affects all included HTML pages. In this way, a uniform design of the web presence is always ensured, which is particularly helpful for extensive websites and large projects. CSS is used as a standard in the well-known CMS systems such as Drupal, Joomla or WordPress and also makes it easier for non-professionals to create a professional website.
CSS and the W3 Consortium
The W3 consortium was founded to create uniform standards in the WWW. Therefore, the consortium has also defined standards for CSS. Since it works independently, CSS is a free, openly documented and, above all, freely usable programming standard. CSS is to be understood as the optimal language with which stylesheets can be created and which at the same time works smoothly together with HTML programming. In addition, there are other programming languages that can be used to edit stylesheets. The programming language is constantly being improved and developed. New web standards were created with the combination of CSS3 and HTML5.
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