What does CSS stand for?
Back in June, when I started the blog, my goal was to share our little intermezzos in the field of design. Also, I wanted to give you a taste of the ups and downs of being a startup, being a newcomer in a market which is famous for its fierce competition. Along the way, however, I have realized that the lack of my web design knowledge (and to be fair, all kinds of web related jargon) puts me in a situation where I am the only one not having a clue about the issue at hand.
Since I like to be the clever one (ask any of my friends), I have started to dig deeper into the World Wide Web and tell you all that I’ve learned, so at least you can avoid any embarrassment (it’s too late for me). A wise man learns from other’s mistake, right?
Having this noble mission in mind, we’ve already talked about a couple of expressions, such as UX, animated and flash banners, html5 banners, front-end vs back-end development, on-page SEO just to pick a few.
Now, I must go back to basics, because the word CSS keeps popping up over and over again. First, I treated it with good old fashion denial. “It’s a technical term, I don’t need to fully understand. Probably it has to do something with programming.” (Please don’t laugh.) Since it’s not something that will just fade away, it’s clearly time to make friends with CSS.
CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheet
That implies two things.
- First of all, the part ‘style sheets’ gives a clear indication that the sole purpose of it is formatting, designing.
- ‘Cascading’ refers to the motion of how the water rushing through the waterfall but only hitting the rocks at the bottom of it. CSS does the same by using style instructions. Very poetic and meta.
While web designers and developers use HTML to structure the content of the website, CSS formats this structured content. So, we have separate sheets attached to the website containing merely design information, such as colors, layouts and fonts. The easiest way to imagine CCS is thinking of two A4 pages. One of it has a sentence on it saying “This is the website” representing HTML coding and the other one saying “word website is red”. That would be the CSS. Thinking of a note is really not far from reality, because CSS is a text file format.
You may rightfully ask: “Why we should separate structure and formatting? Cannot we just add the formatting in HTML? ” The answer is actually very practical: HTML was not made for styling, hence formatting options of it is limited at best. And having more than one style sheet per website makes it possible to present the same content in different styles for different displaying method.
And the advantages don’t end there. You can change formatting fast and easy by overwriting a few lines in the style sheet instead of going through thousands of lines of coding. Imagine that tedious work. The icing on the cake is that all current browsers support CSS, so no need for any plug-ins.
If you are not a web designer or developer, the quintessence you need to take away is that CSS always about formatting. Just remember the word STYLE. Works for me every time.
Before you go, leave me a comment about your experience with CSS.