Gone are the days when making a few additions to your website required hiring a developer or a programmer with all the relevant experience. In fact, these days it is possible not only to tweak your website but with some basic knowledge, you can create your own website.
This is attributable to the many YouTube tutorials but most of it has been due to development of languages like cascading style sheets (CSS) that make it easier even for non-techies to make tweaks to their websites. CSS is quite a simple mechanism for adding some extra style and more dynamics to web pages.
So here’s what you need to know…
Even with non-techies being able to use CSS being, you could always use tips you need to have on hand to make the experience much easier. So we’ll give you a few:
- Look around
If you are not sure what exactly you would like to see on your website, you can look at CSS-based websites and borrow some ideas from them. You can go online to any of the many CSS showcase sites and see what you like.
- CSS styles
Different browsers have different ways of how to render CSS styles. If you want to start on a clean slate with a blank style sheet then you will need to use a reset.css framework.
- External style sheets
These are great and often used by web designers. They can be included in your pages using either @import or <link>. Make sure to choose the best option for you based on your set of needs. You can find out more about them here.
- Less is more
Unless you are a programmer or a developer, you need to keep the code as simple as possible. This means that you should keep the codes as short as possible and you can do that using shorthand CSS.
In keeping with simplicity, stay away from excess selectors with your CSS declaration. Overall, try to keep your codes clean to avoid getting confused and being unable to reference the previous code.
- Instant previews
When you are trying to tweak your site, it is always better to see what you are doing as you go along so you can understand the entire process better. For that, you will need to understand how to debug CSS styles. Some free tools you can use to debug CSS are available and you can install them on your browser like Firebug or the Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar.
Even when you are trying to use as little code as possible, your pen and notepad may not be the most reliable way to go about it, especially when it comes to editing. Thankfully, there are free dedicated CSS editors like Simple CSS and Notepad++ that can help you ensure that your code is alright.
- Know what’s important
If you want to force a certain kind of style without overwriting it, you can do that by marking it important. All you have to do is add ‘!important’ after that particular style. However, this may not work for Internet Explorer.