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A decade of CSS

Posted by Michael Bloch in web development (Saturday December 30, 2006 )

This important milestone nearly slipped by me. December the 19th heralded a decade of CSS – Cascading Style Sheets. If you don’t use CSS at all on your web site; you’re missing out on a very useful technology that can save you a great deal of time in site development and maintenance.

The CSS level 1 specification was first published on 17 December 1996 by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a community of developers and businesses who work together to develop Web standards.

Aside from the ubergeek W3C inner circle, CSS took a couple years to catch on in the wider web development community and there’s still many site owners today who haven’t heard of it.

CSS has come a very long way since the original specification and some CSS savvy designers now use it to create tableless sites. Many popular blogging applications also make use of advanced CSS functions for the positioning and formatting of elements.

I’m still very much a tables guy, but I do make use of basic CSS extensively throughout my site for control of fonts, colors etc. By updating one file (the linked style sheet), the changes are reflected throughout the site. If your site is more than a few pages, applying CSS can be a huge timesaver when it comes to making site-wide formatting edits .

Using Cascading Style Sheets can also make your page source code much leaner as it cuts down on the amount of coding repetition in the formatting of elements such as text. Leaner code means faster download times and since every second counts; it’s a great way to help optimize page loading.

As I said, I’m not a hard core CSS user; but if you’re interested in learning more about the basics of Cascading Style Sheets without your brain threatening to lock up or melt down, I published a beginners tutorial on Inline, Embedded and Linked CSS a couple of years back you might find useful :)

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