Is CSS a necessity for responsive web design? This article will help you find out whether it really is or not, as well as its features – advantages and disadvantages.
Many experts point out the benefits of responsive design. This was especially true once Google suggested the strategy. There’s no denying that responsive design is a powerful tool for creating websites that adapt to many devices, but is it suitable for everyone and every site?
Let’s start by clarifying basic definitions to make sure we’re on the same page.
What is Responsive Web Design?
Simply put, responsive web design adapts your website to multiple screen and window sizes. In other words, if a visitor comes to your website on a smartphone, they won’t be misled or scared away by other bulky columns and meaningful phrases designed just for desktop users.
There are a variety of high-quality website builders such as Editor X or Wix that allow users to create and design their own responsive website while incorporating the latest design trends and tools, with little to no code. However, if you want complete autonomy and freedom when building your site, you might consider learning CSS and coding your site from scratch.
Introduction to CSS
CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. It is the programming language that determines the look and layout of the website. CSS, like HTML, is essential for web design. Websites could still be plain text on a white background without it.
Web pages were very limited in form and function before the World Wide Web Consortium developed CSS in 1996. A page was displayed as hypertext in early browsers, including plain text, graphics, and links to other hypertext web pages. There was no layout, just a single column of text all over the page.
CSS enables various advancements in website layout, including the ability to:
- Backgrounds should be colored.
- Fonts other than the browser defaults can be specified.
- Text and links can be customized in terms of color and size.
- Use boxes to hold web page elements and float them to particular locations on the page.
They added “styling” to style sheets, allowing the creation of websites for the first time.
Why is CSS so important for responsive web design?
Although there are actually many reasons, here are the most common ones.
#1: You can design your site however you want
Creating your site using a free web template is quite simple. However, these themes are rarely stylish, so your site will look like every other website on the internet. You can customize these templates using CSS to display your color schemes. As a result, you will have a personalized website without any work.
#2: It saves you money
You can always hire a professional to create your site. But keep in mind that web developers are often too valuable, therefore a bit too expensive. Knowing how to modify CSS can save you money when you discover small flaws that you can fix yourself. You will be able to solve bigger and more complicated puzzles as you practice.
#3: You can earn extra money
You can sell these solutions to other sites once you master CSS. If you want to work as a freelance web developer, you won’t get very far if you don’t know CSS.
#4: Opportunity to quickly redesign your website
Many older websites are difficult to rebuild because they were built without CSS. However, it can be easily changed once a website is built with a CSS hook. Colors and backgrounds can be changed to update the look of a site with little effort. Many domains now produce custom versions of their websites for special events, and they can do this because creating an additional style sheet for the event takes a few hours.
#5: Create a wider range of websites
CSS allows web pages to appear very different from page to page without a lot of code. Many websites, for example, now use subtle color changes in other parts of the site. You can use page IDs to modify the CSS of each part while maintaining the same HTML structure. Content and CSS are the only things that change.
#6: Improve the look of your website
The most notable benefit of CSS is the increased design freedom and interaction in web development. Developers have more control over the design and can make changes section by section.
Web developers can generate various appearances for each page because CSS customization is more accessible than plain HTML. CSS makes it possible to create complex websites with individual layouts.
#7: Your site will load faster
The underrated but essential feature of CSS is faster page loading. Browsers download and cache CSS rules once for use on all pages of the site. It speeds up website navigation and improves overall customer experience.
This feature makes it easier for websites to work seamlessly with slower internet connections. With faster loading times, accessibility on low-end devices also increases.
Well, it can’t just be “rainbows and butterflies.” CSS also has its drawbacks and limitations, and here are the two most important.
#1: It depends on the browser
The only major drawback of CSS is that its speed is highly dependent on browser support. Besides compatibility, each browser works differently. Therefore, your CSS should reflect all of these changes.
Users will still be able to explore HTML functions if a browser does not fully support your CSS styling. Therefore, you should always have well-structured HTML and decent CSS.
#2: Upgrading old websites is difficult
After learning about the many benefits of CSS, the natural reaction is to incorporate it into your current site. Unfortunately, this is not an easy task. CSS style sheets, especially newer versions, should be embedded in HTML code and conform to HTML versions at the floor level. It takes a long time to adapt CSS to older websites.
There is also the possibility of completely breaking the existing HTML coding, rendering the site useless. It’s best to wait for your website to be completely redesigned.
Knowing all of this about CSS gets you straight to the point; It is essential for responsive website design. It has many advantages and only a few limitations.
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