What is CSS, and why is it important?

Amit Hadole   09 April,2021  

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. It is the coding language that gives a website its look and layout. Along with HTML, CSS is fundamental to web design. Without it, websites would still be plain text on white backgrounds.

Before the development of CSS in 1996 by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Web pages were extremely limited in both form and function. Early browsers presented a page as hypertext - plain text, images, and links to other hypertext pages. There was no layout at all to speak of, merely paragraphs running across the page in a single column.

CSS allowed several innovations to webpage layout, such as the ability to:

  • Specify fonts other than the default for the browser
  • Specify color and size of text and links
  • Apply colors to backgrounds
  • Contain webpage elements in boxes and float those boxes to specific positions on the page

The first commercial browser to read and utilize CSS was Microsoft's Internet Explorer 3 in 1998. To this day, support for certain CSS functions varies from browser to browser. The W3C, which still oversees and creates Web standards, recently released a new standard for CSS - CSS3. With CSS3, developers hope that all major browsers will read and display every CSS function in the same way.

Importance of CSS:

1. Help web pages load faster:

Improving the loading of websites is an underestimated but important advantage of CSS. Browsers download CSS rules once and cache them to load all pages of a website. It speeds up website navigation and enhances the overall user experience.

The reason why web developers prefer CSS is that it is lighter than the array layout, which consumes a lot of bandwidth.

2. Compatible with multiple browsers:

CSS is compatible with all web browsers. As a result, a CSS-based website will appear similarly in all web browsers.

3. Mobile-Friendly Web Pages:

t it provides user-friendly web pages for printing. This means that web pages can be easily printed. Colors, images, and other hard-to-print items can be easily removed and printed.

4. Customization:

CSS sheets allow users to customize the web page. CSS sheets are stored externally and allow the user to make the necessary changes. A number of modern browsers allow users to define their own style sheets. Thus, a user can easily change the properties of the font, etc.

5. User-friendly search engine:

CSS style sheets make it easier for websites to appear in search engine results. Since it allows you to position elements anywhere, the user can start projecting the main content so that it is easily captured by web spiders. It also provides cleaner HTML codes, reducing the work of Web Spider to search for real content from unwanted code.

6. Display options:

Another common concern in web design is the growing need to make websites available for different media. CSS can help you meet this challenge by allowing the same markup page to come in different display styles: for example, you can create a separate style sheet for printing or for a mobile device.

7. Bandwidth reduction:

When CSS separates the content of your website from its design language, you significantly reduce the size of your file transfer. Your CSS document will be stored outside and will only be accessible once when a visitor requests your website. On the other hand, when you create a website using tables, every page of your website is accessible at every visit. Your reduced bandwidth requirements will result in a shorter load time and may reduce your web hosting costs.