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Cascading Style Sheets for Better Web Design

In cascading style sheets you can specify how your web pages will be presented on the screen by simply predefining page elements such as fonts, headers and links.

You can add these predefined elements in the head-section of your pages, but more interesting is to use them in a single .css file and include that file in every page on your site.

All you have to do is include in your HTML header. (the path in the href must point to the place where your .css file is stored)

There are two main benefits to using css sheets in a separate file:

1. more flexibility; only one (1) file to update

2. less HTML coding and easy replacement of deprecated HTML. I'll explain more of this below.

First, let me tell you I am NOT a cascading style sheet professional. I just use it.

If you want to become one, there are great css resources and tutorials out there.

Just go to

http://www.w3.org/Style/CSS/learning http://www.htmlhelp.com/reference/css/

to mention a few, but there are many more. Type 'cascading style sheets' in your favorite search engine and you get plenty of information.

But just being a layperson in css emphasizes the importance of this web design tool. I started using cascading style sheets in its most elementary form. All you have to do is name the page element that you are going to specify and add its specifications in curly brackets. Here's my first css file:

body { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt; font-style: normal; line-height: normal; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none; color: #000000 }

By simply saving this code in a style sheet file and including it in my webpages I suddenly didn't have to define FONT statements in the body of my pages any more. Wow, that saved me a lot of coding! Big advantage (no. 2).

AND .....

I had fewer errors in my HTML, because I didn't have to close that awkward FONT tag (at the wrong place). Big advantage (no. 2).

When I discovered this, I immediately began adding definitions for other tags like H1, H2, linktext (not visited, visited and hover) and special colors in text.

If I want to change the look of my H1-header, all I have to do is change the specs in my style sheet and presto .... the H1 is changed across my whole site. How's that for flexibility? Big advantage (no. 1).

When I once redesigned my site I used HTML validators to see how I was doing. To my surprise I found that some HTML commands, the most important one being FONT, were deprecated in HTML 4.0. That means eventually these commands will not be used anymore.

So I had to do something. Again, style sheets came to the rescue. All I had to do was define how my fonts would look like in my style sheet and I had the problem solved. Big advantage (no. 2).

Now I use css to define headers, footers, special text colors, special fonts and font sizes, special links etcetera. If I ever discover I need some extra lay-out or style, I just add one line to my .css file. It's so easy!

Try it. Start using style sheets. You're more flexible and it will save you lots of time.

Wish you success.
Case Stevens

Case Stevens, owner of AnOwnSite Internet Marketing, is experimenting with different marketing techniques, websites, traffic and lead generation. He publishes his experiences in a newsletter featuring understandable, successful low cost Internet marketing techniques, ideas and strategies, articles, news, tips & tricks and interesting (free) downloads.

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