Learning CSS

Last Updated March 21, 2017

Now that you know HTML, CSS is where the real magic is.

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. It tells HTML how your file should look (the appearance and formatting)—like I said, the magic.

There’s a project called CSS Zen Garden that launched way back in May 2003. It showcased user submitted designs, all accomplished by simply swapping out the external CSS file (and supporting imagery). On the site’s 10th anniversary, they reopened submissions, focusing on modern design principles and featuring some of CSS3’s language improvements. The site is still live and you can see featured work by some of my web heroes. It really is amazing what you can accomplish with CSS alone.

CSS Zen Garden

Let’s be explicit, what’s the point of CSS?

  1. You can apply the same styles to several elements without having to write the same code multiple times.
  2. When you have a site with multiple HTML pages (and most do), you can apply the same appearance and formatting styles throughout with one single CSS file.

There’s a principle in programming called DRY. It stands for Don’t Repeat Yourself. Some may say programmers are lazy, but “smarter, not harder” is more accurate. CSS if anything is “DRY” code.

Now, that I’ve made a case for it, let’s dive in!