Written by: Kevin Gardner
You probably already know about Hypertext Markup Language, also known as HTML. If you’re running a blog of any kind, you certainly use HTML to style and format your content. If you’re just getting started, however, you might not know about Cascading Style Sheets, also known as CSS. It's another key foundational element of the internet; it gets used all across the internet. You might be thinking that you don’t want to learn a whole new coding system, but CSS isn’t so much a new way to code as it is a way to organize the coding that you already do.
Ease of Use
CSS is a system that allows you to store the HTML formatting you’ve done and apply it to more than one page, which makes your life easier. Instead of having to input the coding yourself from page to page, increasing the chance that you make an error or input the wrong data, you can type that coding out one time and store it elsewhere. This means that you can stop fussing about with the coding and focus on creating quality content. It's also worth mentioning, just in passing, that knowledge of CSS is a valuable tech skill
Like HTML, CSS is an open source software, so many of these templates are available for free, and you can modify them to suit your particular needs. This also increases transparency with regards to security risks and possible bugs. Whether you are using one of the older formats or a new system like Bulma CSS, the system is likely to have free templates, which will decrease your costs and increase your ability to tailor the code to fit your requirements.
CSS is also more accessible than plain HTML, both for you and for the people reading your blog. Because CSS separates the content of your blog from the formatting of your blog, that makes it easier for readers to take that content and leave the formatting. That content can then be accessed via other formats, for example large text, text to speech software, and even Braille-based tactile devices. For you, the fact that CSS ignores white space means that you can break up your coding visually. Instead of one long unending block of text and code, you can put spaces to separate the formatting, making it easier for you to read.
CSS can also be formatted to change depending on whether your site is being accessed from a computer or a mobile device. In this day and age, that is increasingly important. More and more people are accessing the internet primarily on their phones or tablets. Trying to navigate a website designed to be accessible by desktop from a mobile device can be clunky and not user friendly. Especially for business owners, having a mobile friendly website
is absolutely vital.
Uniform Look, Uniform Changes
CSS allows you to create a uniform look across multiple pages, or even across multiple websites. This unified look will make your blog easier to navigate, and give it a smoother, more professional look. If you decide to tweak any aspect of your design, from the font color to link formatting to the layout of the menu, you can make those changes to the CSS and have them applied across your entire blog without having to go in and input the changes manually on every single page. This means that you’ll be able to make those little tweaks more often, bringing your blog that much closer to perfection every time, without increasing the chance that you accidentally mess up the formatting on that one page that gets overlooked.
CSS is one of the cornerstones of the internet. If you're producing content for a blog or any other website, knowing CSS will not only make your life easier, it'll give you more tools to express yourself and give you more control over the look and feel of your blog.
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