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How To Design Your Web Site With CSS

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) allows you to create fast loading pages, increase your search engine rankings, and modify your whole site with one style sheet. So why don't more people use them? This is because they got so used to html design and are afraid or too lazy to upgrade their skills. Some will also use ready made templates that contain flashy graphics, bloated code and sometimes even contains hidden code embedded in the page.

In this series of articles I will show you how to create a simple web site using CSS, so you will have no excuse to begin incorporating them into your future designs.

What are Cascading Style Sheets?

Cascading Style Sheets is the name of a simple language that allows you to add any style (font, colors, graphics, links, layouts) to your web pages.

Benefits of Cascading Style Sheets

1. Separate content from presentation ? you can separate your HTML markup, text, graphics and multimedia from presentation.

2. Consistent site wide look and feel consistency ? you can apply one style for 100s of web pages all at once. So if you had to change the color of all pages on your site, you only have to edit one style sheet. This saves you a huge amount of time, especially if you had to edit each page separately.

3. Web site maintenance - apart from being able to make site wide changes easily through one CSS file, the clean code it generates makes it easier to update. Properly marked up web pages permit them to be maintained by more than one person. It will also work in more browsers. Web site redesigns will take much less time.

4. Improve search engine rankings ? search engines generally spider the code at the top of your web page first. For most sites that means the navigation bar will be spidered first (resides at top of page code). CSS enables you to position the code for your content at the top making your page search engine friendly. Properly marked up HTML pages can easily found and properly categorized by search engines

5. Fast loading ? CSS reduces the amount of tags used therefore producing clean code. Tableless design can reduce your load time by 25% to 50%.

6. Reduce bandwidth ? compacting the amount of code used will reduce the amount of bandwidth needed to host your web pages. Therefore you won't have to pay higher fees when adding more web documents to your site.

7. Accessibility - increasing accessibility with CSS means being able to serve web content to a larger audience, increasing web site usability, even for non-disabled people. Content can easily be formatted for projection as well as screen display. Tableless layouts display well on hand-helds.

8. Improve the printing of web pages ? most printers will only allow you to print a portion of the web page. With CSS your whole document can be printed.

When you use CSS it becomes quick and easy to apply new styles that can not only effect all styles on your web page but even your whole site.

In the next article I will explain how to layout a web page using CSS.

Herman Drost is the Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW) owner and author of http://www.iSiteBuild.com Affordable Web Site Design and Web Hosting. Subscribe to his "Marketing Tips" newsletter for more original articles. mailto:subscribe@isitebuild.com. You can read more of his in-depth articles at: http://www.isitebuild.com/articles

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