Cascading style sheets (CSS) has become the most popular style sheet language and is used by most of the web designers to prepare their web pages effectively. It allows them to separate the presentation of their site from its content and you can style any element of your page with a great ease without affecting the content. Most of the designers think that coding templates in CSS is no big deal, but there is a difference between writing CSS and producing top notch CSS.
The way you use CSS makes the difference between you and those whom this industry call as experts. It is a very powerful markup language if used properly. You can really do wonders doing PSD to CSS if you start following the golden rules which this article is going to provide you.
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Always use A CSS Shorthand System
This is one of the principle codes which is followed by the experts. Most of the designers (especially the new ones) tend to ignore this very important rule. Using shorthand systems helps you to keep your CSS file short, precise and comprehensive.
Use an External StyleSheet
This means to have all your CSS in an external file and have it included in your HTML. It ensures keeping your content separate from your designs and also allows you with faster page loading time.
Avoid Using Inline Styles
Using the Inline styles can mix up your content and presentation which can lead to a great trouble. It leads to untidy codes where each HTML file will need to be updated in the event of a style change, instead of a global change in a single external stylesheet.
Use Proper Doctype
No matter how efficiently you finish your coding and validate the CSS and HTML, if you are using the wrong doctype, all your efforts will go wasted. Using a proper doctype determines how the browser will read your website.
Avoid Using Hacks
Using hacks in your coding has become an acceptable practice in the web designing but it will never be considered as an ideal practice as use of hacks can result to errors in CSS validation and makes your project more complicated.
Group Your Selectors
Sometimes it happens that several elements types, classes or ids share similar properties which can create a huge confusion for you. So it is always considered better to make a separate group for all these so as to avoid using same properties again and again.
Never Abuse divs
Divs provide a high level of flexibility therefore chances of overusing them are greater. To avoid this you should always check whether or not there is any HTML tag which can serve your purpose. Doing this will not only reduce the amount of code that you have to create but will provide you with a more logical structure to your codes.
Consider the Printers Also
It is considered important to use CSS to make your content printer friendly. When the visitors will try to take a print out of a page from your website, they will be quite happy to see that they have got the exact content which they wanted from your site.
Use CSS Sprites
When you combine all background images into one single image and display them using background position is known as CSS sprites. It not only reduces the number of http requests but also saves bandwidth and loads faster.
Margins and Paddings
If you have set a width for your content , then don’t try to set a margin at the same time as it cab scroll the sidebar all the way down to the footer, even below the content, which is surely not a good practice to be adopted. Therefore, it is advisable that use only one; set the width or set the margins and padding, but never use both simultaneously.
Keep Validating Your Codes
This is one of the most time saving techniques while converting PSD to HTML and PSD to CSS which most of the designers ignore. Validating your codes allows you to clean up any problem and ensures that it is going to work well for your visitors.
Keep it Short and Simple
Yes, this is the most elementary principle which should be considered during all the process of coding. By writing a CSS which is too long, unorganized and contains too many hacks is a sure shot example of running a site that doesn’t display in the end properly. It not only wastes your hours of hard work but your precious time also. So its always better to keep your coding as simple as possible so that it can bring you the desired results.
Be Eager to Learn More
Learning is a never ending process and thus, should not be ended at any cost. If you aspire to become an expert web designer, then it is very necessary for you to keep gaining as much knowledge as possible regarding the CSS. Improved knowledge will let you utilize your skills in a more efficient way and there will be several options available for you instead of depending upon some of the common practices.
Therefore, it is advisable be open minded and an enthusiastic learner, rest of the things will automatically start falling in the place themselves. All the points mentioned above will give you a clear idea about some important steps which should always be considered while you use CSS. So Keep Learning and Get Going…
You might be interested in reading following HTML and CSS related articles as well:
Coding A Web Design: Best Practices and Tips
15 HTML Best Practices That Developers Should Know
Top 10 Tips for Writing Better CSS
Buzz & Fuss about HTML5
Importance of Clean Markup in Website Development