You may be looking at the title of this post thinking “what the heck is CSS and why do I need to know about it??!”
As WordPress theme designers, CSS is the foundation of the code we build for our beautiful WordPress themes. CSS is the go-to language for web development and lets you personalize your website unlike any other web language.
We understand that many of our readers and customers aren’t programmers, but understanding a bit of CSS knowledge is helpful as a business owner.
We put together a guide for understanding CSS for beginners. We hope it’s helpful!
Understanding CSS For Beginners
What does CSS stand for and what is it?
First, let’s cover what CSS stands for and what it is exactly.
CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. The reason why CSS became popular in the web development world was that it created a way to separate the content of a site (think of blog post content, the words on website pages, etc) from how it’s displayed (how the page looks).
CSS is the companion to HTML, so both the words that you read on your website and the design flow together.
People started using CSS to develop the design of websites because it can save a lot of time and effort for website designers. It has the ability to control the layout of multiple pages at a time, which if you look at many websites you will see they have similar layouts to all of their pages.
The term internal style sheet is used to describe a single page that has a unique style from the rest of your website pages.
For most sites, you won’t use many internal stylesheets because many of your pages will look similar to another (think of how your blog looks on each page, it looks the same so the internal stylesheet wouldn’t be used).
Related post: Five Things To Think About Before Doing A Website Redesign
Your external stylesheet is the most important file of your website. This is what controls the look **IMAGE**of your entire website.
If you want to know how to access your external stylesheet, you would log into WordPress and go to Appearance >> Editor.
Here is what the beginning of our Victoria theme’s external stylesheet looks like:
You would not want to edit anything in this document as it could potentially change the look of your website and mess up the coding.
If there is a customization you would want to do for your site, we recommend using a child theme.
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Inline styles is a way to apply a unique style to a single element and should be used sparingly.
An example of an element could be a heading. You could change the color of a heading by using an inline style. Here is an example from W3Schools:
At times, there can be more than one style specified for an HTML element (let’s say for example, the heading we used as an example above). Which style will be used for the heading?
There is a cascading order of style sheets, meaning some style sheets have a higher priority than others. Here they are from highest priority to lowest:
1. Inline style
2. External and internal style sheets
3. Browser default
If there is an inline style identified, that will override any other style.
Related post: 7 Ways To Improve The User Experience On Your Website
We hope this post was helpful for you. We know not everyone understands web language but we think it can be helpful knowing popular terms.