What Is CSS, and What Part Does It Play in Web Design?

Websites are built with a set of code languages. Each language has a specific purpose. The primary language of all sites is HTML; it’s the language that sets up everything in its place. CSS is the code language that styles what the HTML has already set. If we didn’t have CSS, websites would be boring, and they would all look the same.

In this post, we’ll look at what CSS does, what it looks like, and how it plays an essential part in web design.

What does CSS stand for?

The letters in CSS stand for Cascading Style Sheets. A style sheet is a set of code that defines the style of the elements on a page.

HTML opens the stage while CSS decorates the set and dresses the actors.

The term ‘cascading’ refers to how the elements in a style sheet cascade from the primary component into specific details.

How does CSS fit in with HTML?

HTML is set up first, and the CSS comes after. The CSS is sometimes included right next to the HTML, and other times there is a separate style sheet which is included as a link to a different URL.

The difference between inline CSS and a separate style sheet depends on what elements need to be styled. A style sheet is better when you want to style all the text the same and all the backgrounds the same. Offline style sheets are also used for child themes created from the central theme.

Inline CSS will style elements precisely according to where it sits in the code build.

HTML code has specific ‘selector’ tags which specify elements. For example, ‘h1′ for a Heading 1,’ body’ for the body of the page, ‘head’ for the header, ‘p’ for paragraphs. What CSS does is take the HTML selector and add things like size and color.

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What does CSS look like?

Following how HTML has selector tags and how CSS is a cascading style sheet, let’s take a look at what CSS looks like.

All code has opening and closing tags. The tag for CSS is ‘style.’

The code snippet below specifies the size, color, and alignment of the heading 2.


h2 {

font-size: 24px;

color: blue;

text-align: center;



First, the CSS tag ‘style’ opens the snippet, after that comes the selector. Directly after that, a curly brace houses the property and the value. First comes the property, ‘font-size’ and a colon. Straight after that comes the value ’24px’ followed by a semicolon. When all features and values are displayed for a specific selector, the curly brackets close. If that is the end of the style for that section, then the ‘style’ closing tags finishes things off.

How to use CSS with visual builders

CSS and HTML (along with other code languages for different functionalities) are used by developers to create websites from the back-end. Web designers, on the other hand, use website builders, visual builders, and child themes to create websites.

Web designers use CSS in special modules where they can style different sections of the design. They can also change the style sheet in the child theme.

What else can CSS do?

Apart from making text red and backgrounds white, CSS can also help with responsive styles and animation. CSS can create gradient colors, hovers, movement, and 3D effects. There’s a lot of different things that HTML can’t do on its own.

Using CSS is an essential part of responsive web design. CSS snippets give the content size in percentages, making sure it fits the screen it’s being shown in. With media queries, content can also change according to screen size, moving elements around to make them fit better.

There is a lot which CSS can do for a website. It’s worth learning and being fluent in.

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Where to learn more CSS

If you want to learn more about CSS, there are plenty of online resources where to learn. W3Schools.com, for example, is a great place to start learning all about CSS and how to use it.

FreeCodeCamp is another online resource which teaches you code as you build. CSS-Tricks is another website full of articles, videos, and resources to prepare yourself on how to use CSS.

Over to You

As you can see, knowing how to use CSS is just as important as knowing how to use HTML. Without CSS, all our websites would be boring and drab. We would have no animations, gradients, or hovers. It’s never too late to learn some code and make better websites!