HTML and CSS Reference
In-Depth Information
The Role of CSS in Web Design
As a web developer, skilled in HTML, CSS, and possibly other web languages and tech-
nologies, you have a web development process. Even if you haven't planned it out for-
mally, you've got a method that works for you, whether it's as simple as sitting down and
designing whatever strikes your fancy or as complex as working in a multideveloper cor-
porate development system for a large employer.
Adding CSS to your repertoire has made you an even better web developer than before;
your skill set has expanded and the types of designs you can create are nearly limitless.
The next step is to integrate your CSS skills into your web development process. I'm not
going to tell you exactly how you'll do that—people have their own methods—but I'll
help you think about how you can go about using CSS in your web designs.
In a few cases, you might develop your style sheets completely separately from your
HTML pages. More commonly, you'll use an iterative process, where you make changes
to the style sheet, then changes to the HTML page, and then go back to the style sheet
for a few more tweaks until you're satisfied with the results. The adaptive nature of style
sheets makes it easy to create these kinds of changes, and you may find yourself continu-
ing to perfect your styles even after you post your content on the Web.
You might not be starting with a blank slate and an uncreated
website when you begin using CSS. Redesigns are common in
web development, and you may want to take advantage of a new
site design to convert to a CSS-based presentation. It can some-
times be harder, but it's certainly possible to keep the same look
and feel of your site when converting it to use CSS. If you're using
a content management system (CMS) that automatically gener-
ates your website from a database, converting to style sheets may
be a snap. CSS is very compatible, on a conceptual level, with the
idea of templates as used by content management systems.
As mentioned at the start of this lesson, CSS design involves balancing a number of fac-
tors to arrive at the best compromise for your site and its users. Questions will arise as
you work with CSS on any site, and you'll need to answer them before you go on. Here
are several of these key questions to help you plan your site:
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