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CSS Basics: Main Concepts and Principles Explained

What Does CSS Stand for?

CSS Basics
Some websites look professional, attractive, and fun while others seem dull and boring. CSS is the main reason for that difference. CSS is a language, responsible for the layout and style of websites.

With CSS, you can get creative and manipulate the sizes of elements, spacing, fonts, and colors of your website. A slick design will leave the visitor wanting more, and you can easily style a site by mastering the CSS basics.

So, what does CSS stand for? CSS is an acronym for Cascading Style Sheets. If you have basic knowledge of HTML, you probably have already heard of CSS. Technically it isn't a programming language but rather a style sheet language.

Style sheet languages are used to customize the way that content is displayed. In other words, CSS, together with HTML, defines the way that almost all modern websites look.

An external style sheet is a document that ends with .css extension and must consist only of CSS syntax. These files contain CSS rules: all of the styles you are going to apply to your website (fonts, colors, etc.)

With <link> tag, HTML can be linked with the external style sheet and make your design come to life on your website. You can add an unlimited number of .css documents into a page. If you want to change or improve the client-side of your page, all you have to do is update the linked CSS documents.

If you want your CSS file to style HTML pages, you have to know how to link CSS to HTML. Let’s say you create a document named mystyling.css and wish to apply its rules to your website. Here is an explanation how to do it:

  • Choose HTML documents that you want to style.
  • Add <link rel="stylesheet" href="mystyling.css"> between the <head> </head> tags.
  • You're done! Look at the results on your page.
  • Update the mystyling.css anytime and keep your website up-to-date with the latest interface fashion trends.

Why You Should Learn CSS: Purpose and Use

By learning the CSS basics, you will be able to perform a number of tasks:

  • Front-end: you can style websites, make them attractive by adding colors, fonts, layouts, and other elements.
  • Adaptation: you can make websites adjust to different screens.
  • Efficiency: you can easily apply the same style to many pages with one CSS document.
  • Updating: you can change styles quickly by making modifications to the CSS file. The alterations will be instantly applied to all pages, linked to the document.
  • Animations: you can use CSS Flash files to create and add interactive content.

Where to Start

Now, if you're new to style sheet languages, we recommend that you begin with the CSS basics and make your way to more advanced stuff at your own pace:

  • Before going any further, you should know the basics of HTML and JavaScript as these languages are needed to learn CSS.
  • CSS introduction is a perfect place to start. It will help you prepare for the following tutorials better. You'll get introduced to the most significant benefits of using CSS, the reason why CSS was created as well as what problems it helps to solve.
  • Jumping to a CSS tutorial is also a solid decision. You'll find some excellent CSS tips and tricks there.
  • After finishing those tutorials, the best way to continue is by following the continuity as listed on the sidebar. This will ensure a fluent learning process and help you develop your skills consistently. For instance, you will learn how to link CSS to HTML.
  • Do not forget to practice with the code we provide. Click Try it Live buttons to make changes to the code and see the results instantly.
  • If you need more information on the subject, we recommend you to continue learning with our interactive and video courses on CSS. They will provide you with more options for practice and get familiar with more aspects of CSS.

What You Will Learn

You will find a ton of useful information on many different aspects of Cascading Style Sheets in this tutorial. First few lessons will introduce you to CSS basics such as its purpose, syntax, and essential functions.

If you need more time to understand these concepts, we recommend our video course on CSS for beginners which will cover all of the essential points in a user-friendly manner.

After mastering the fundamentals of CSS, you'll move on to the more advanced concepts that will help you become a CSS expert. This course is perfect for a complete beginner, so if you have no prior experience, don't worry. There's plenty of lessons that will help you build a solid understanding of CSS basics from the ground up.

At the same time, the advanced CSS coding techniques that you'll find here will put you ahead of the game. In other words, our course is designed to help you transition from a complete beginner to a PRO!