Originally released December 1996, cascading style sheets (CSS) is a special type of language that’s used to control the presentation of a web page or web document. While there’s no rule – written or unwritten – stating that you must use CSS when designing a website, doing so will almost certainly prove beneficial.
Easier to Make Design Changes
With pure websites built strictly in HTML, making design changes can be a time-consuming, tedious task. If you want to change the color or font size of all level 1 headings, for instance, you’ll have to manually edit the code for each and every level 1 heading. But with CSS, you can apply these changes to the style sheet, at which point it will be reflected across all level 1 headings. The ability to make site-wide design changes on the fly is a huge benefit of CSS.
Reduced File Size
Because the style content for a webpage can be stored on a separate document, CSS naturally encourages smaller file sizes. In fact, some users have reported a 60% reduction in their webpages’ file size simply by using CSS.
Complies With W3C Standard
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) – the multinational organization responsible for setting standards in web design – recommends the use of CSS3 in nearly every aspect of web design and development.
Faster Load Times
It’s not going to make an enormous difference in terms of speed, but you can expect faster load times by implementing CSS in your web design. Most web browsers store cached copies of stylesheets, so once the visitor has downloaded the stylesheet they won’t have to re-download it the next time they access the page.
Easier to Debug Webpages with Broken Elements
Does your website contain one or more broken elements? You’ll have an easier time identifying the problem if you use CSS. This is due to the fact that CSS reduces lines of codes, consolidating them into a single stylesheet instead. With less code to rummage through, identifying and fixing bugs is easier.
Encourages Higher Search Rankings
This alone should be reason enough to use CSS in your web design. To determine where and how a website should rank, search engines must crawl the site’s source code as they scan for certain ranking signals. If the code is messy and cluttered, search engines may have difficulty scanning the code, which in turn may hinder the site’s search ranking. CSS, however, is clean, well-organized, and easy for search engines to scan.
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