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What is CSS Code?

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  • Written By: J.L. Drede
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2016
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CSS code is a programming language used in website design and in the creation of HTML templates. It is used to format the look and format of a web page, setting design elements such as the basic layout, colors, and fonts. CSS allows for greater continuity between different web pages on a site and makes the development of web pages easier and quicker.

CSS stands for cascading style sheets. A style sheet language is any programming language that is used to create and present a structured document. The cascade in CSS refers to the language's ability to assign priorities among author styles, the styles set by the web page itself, and user styles, the styles set by individual users' web browsers.

CSS code is used in the web design field because it makes designing and editing web pages much easier. Before the advent of CSS, web developers would have to copy and paste the same formatting options to every single page on a site to dictate things like font size and color choices. Not only was this very time consuming, but it increased the chance of errors and inconsistencies between pages on the same site.

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Now when designing HTML, web designers use CSS code. This creates a single file that is referenced by all pages on a website. This file contains the formatting guidelines for every page on the site that references it. There is no need to input font size and other settings on every page of HTML when using CSS.

Using CSS code to develop and edit a website helps the site maintain a sense of consistency throughout, as all pages on the site are forced to abide by the code set up by the CSS file. It also makes updating a website much easier for web developers. They can change the code on a single page without having to worry about adjusting fonts and other formatting issues. Conversely, they can change make mass changes on the site simply by altering code on the CSS file.

CSS code can be implemented in multiple ways. Some websites use a separate CSS file that all pages on the website reference. Others may insert CSS commands into the head of individual HTML pages on a site. CSS code can even be put directly into an HTML page. Many times a combination of all three of these implementation methods will be used.

For many sites, the use of CSS is automatic. Blogging services such as Blogger and Wordpress use CSS stylesheets so that bloggers can easily edit their pages without having to use much HTML code. Bloggers at sites like these also usually have the ability to edit the CSS files themselves, giving them even more control over their sites.

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