CSS is an acronym for Cascading Style Sheets. It is one of the scripting (or coding) languages used by website designers to build your webpages.
CSS is designed primarily to enable the separation of document structure (written in HTML or a related language) from document presentation and layout (written in CSS). This separation provides a number of benefits, including:
- Improved content accessibility
- Greater flexibility and control in the specification of presentational characteristics
- Reduced complexity of the structural content
- Reduced maintenance and update costs
- Reduced filesize and faster page loading
CSS style information can be either attached as a separate document or embedded in the HTML document. Different styles can be applied depending on what media is being used. For example, the screen version may be quite different from the printed version. This allows authors to tailor the presentation appropriately for each kind of media.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) which establishes the specifications and guidelines for technologies on the web recommended the use of CSS in 1996 and CSS2 in 1998.CSS3 is currently under development.
Many web designers still use HTML for layout and presentation, and I must admit to having used it in that way in the past. Here at Pixelwave Design I now however use HTML or xHTML for structural markup only and CSS for presentation and layout. For more information on the benefits of this method please read my page on Building Conforming Websites