Ten Reasons to Use CSS
Author: Mona Moore
1. Separation of Content and Presentation
Cascading Style Sheets are generally located in files separate from the main code (html, for example), permitting a team’s different members, such as programmer and designer, to focus on their specialties while working alongside each other, thereby avoiding the risk of interfering with each other’s work and affecting the final product.
We can compare cascading style sheets to our wardrobe. We remain the same, though we chose our clothing depending on the season.
The same phenomenon occurs in the case of cascading style sheets: You can change the website’s entire design, with no effects on the content, at any moment by just modifying the style sheet.
3. Consistency of Page Design
A website, whether it is dynamic or static, is usually comprised of numerous pages. Maintaining a single, consistent appearance can become a difficult and tedious task if you must copy and paste code each time you create a new page, or want to modify a single aspect across the entire site.
Cascading style sheets link all the pages of a website, speeding up this process and minimizing the work load.
4. Optimization of Load Times, Server Traffic and Content to Code Ratio
After having separated a website’s design and content, the file size is significantly reduced. It is not unusual to see reductions of 50% after switching from tables to CSS. The primary explanation for this dramatic decrease is that presentation information is placed in the external CSS document, called up once when the homepage loads up and then cached (stored) on to the user's computer. Alternatively, table layouts place all presentation information inside each HTML, which is then called up and downloaded for every page on the site.
Smaller files provide three benefits. Firstly, you noticeably reduce the time it takes the site to load in the browser. Secondly, you reduce bandwidth costs, which for high traffic sites can mean enormous savings. Lastly, your site will rank higher in the SERP's due to a higher content to code ratio.
5. Precision or Elasticity
By utilizing CSS, you can specify the exact size and positioning of the elements that form your pages, including in which pixel the browser should place this or that image, and how high and wide it should be.
At the same time, you can use a host of different measures that permit you to expand or contract the content within the navigational window, independent of the user’s screen resolution.
6. Increase Contact
The more surfers you can allow will inevitably lead to an increase in web traffic and eventually conversions. A CSS-based website is compatible with PDA's, mobile phones, in-car browsers and Web TV.
Also, unlike a tabular layout, you can make an additional CSS document specifically for handheld devices, which will be called up in place of the regular CSS document, thereby ensuring your website is accessible to this lucrative market.
7. Clean Source Code
If you write an independent style sheet, the page’s source code will be less confusing, in addition to speeding up the process of line placement.
Also, a clean code is more accessible to search engines, thereby improving their ability to spider your content, leading to higher rankings in the SERP's.
8. Compatibility and Continuity
The rules established by the CSS-1 specification fixed the design standards, which are maintained and respected in CSS-2. We can assume that the same with be true of CSS-3 as was of its predecessor.
Interestingly, browsers that do not support CSS-3 will not encounter issues when assimilating CSS content since it will always be compatible with CSS-2 or CSS-1. Compatibility with previous CSS specifications will always be guaranteed.
9. Standardization in Front of Proprietary Specifications
The adoption of W3C standards offers the advantage of code compatibility among the different web browsers. The use of “proprietary solutions,” such is the case of numerous labels or patterns used by Microsoft. Based on their interpretation of what is and what is not CSS, website creation becomes difficult because two distinct codes must be written to obtain the same result of functioning on the visitor’s browser.
The use of the W3C’s standard CSS will avoid the incorrect appearance of websites in different browsers.
10. Permits the Differentiation of Styles to Print/Visualize on Screen
Using CSS also permits users to view a website’s content in a separate screen and to print.
Although the properties of a sheet of paper and a monitor will never be the same, CSS makes it possible to utilize both mediums and always maintain a clean, orderly and pleasing visual appearance.
Even though the process of switching your website from a table layout to a CSS layout can be long and laborious, the improved usability, reach and search engine rankings can make the time and effort spent well worth it. As Martha Stewart's says, “It’s a good thing”.