CSS is an acronym for Cascading Style Sheets, which is a style sheet language used in website design. Most often it is used to describe a presentation format for a webpage that is written in HTML or XHTML code.
CSS was created to make web design much faster. Web designers who would write the HTML or XHTML code for a webpage were being asked to uphold certain visual aspects of a
such as font, colors, and layout. This soon became a time-consuming task for web designers and so web design with these desired aspects became very expensive to create. Hence, CSS was born.
In the early years of the World Wide Web, you had to hire a web designer who was fluent in HTML or another coding language to create your website for you.
However, you do not necessarily need to know HTML in order to design a webpage using CSS. Software programs like Dreamweaver allow beginning web designers to create web pages using CSS without having to know HTML code.
Many designers use CSS to create templates. These templates help a designer move more quickly through the design process when using a cohesive theme throughout an entire website. The author of a webpage will link that document to a CSS style sheet to quickly achieve the formatting he desires.
A CSS template also comes in handy when multiple users are working together to create a webpage. For example, a designer might use CSS to create a template with the specific fonts, colors, and layout he or she desires. Then, a content writer (who does not know CSS or HTML) might use that same style sheet and simply insert the content into the appropriate textual areas. This allows the content writer to work quickly and efficiently through a CSS document without have to know the technical side of web design.
When a web browser reads a style sheet, it will automatically format the document based upon the design elements that it specifies.
There are three ways to insert CSS: external style sheet, internal style sheet, and inline style. When you want to apply a style to several pages, it is best to use an external style sheet. In this case, you have the power to change the look of an entire website just by changing one file. On the other hand, if you want a single document to have a unique style, then you want to use an internal style sheet. Inline style sheets are not used that often because they mix content and style code, which usually defeats the purpose of CSS.
CSS can save loads of time when you are creating a website, especially with multiple pages. There is much more to learn about CSS, this is just a starting point for those wondering what CSS is and how it can help them in their website design.