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How To Design Your Web Site With CSS

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) allows you to create fastloading pages, increase your search engine rankings, andmodify your whole site with one style sheet. So why don'tmore people use them? This is because they got so used tohtml design and are afraid or too lazy to upgrade theirskills. 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 asimple web site using CSS, so you will have no excuse tobegin incorporating them into your future designs.

What are Cascading Style Sheets?

Cascading Style Sheets is the name of a simple languagethat 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 separateyour HTML markup, text, graphics and multimedia frompresentation.

2. Consistent site wide look and feel consistency - you canapply one style for 100s of web pages all at once. So ifyou had to change the color of all pages on your site, youonly have to edit one style sheet. This saves you a hugeamount of time, especially if you had to edit each pageseparately.

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

4. Improve search engine rankings - search enginesgenerally spider the code at the top of your web page first. For most sites that means the navigation bar will be spideredfirst (resides at top of page code). CSS enables you toposition the code for your content at the top making yourpage search engine friendly. Properly marked up HTML pagescan easily found and properly categorized by search engines

5. Fast loading - CSS reduces the amount of tags usedtherefore producing clean code. Tableless design can reduceyour load time by 25% to 50%.

6. Reduce bandwidth - compacting the amount of code usedwill reduce the amount of bandwidth needed to host your webpages. Therefore you won't have to pay higher fees whenadding more web documents to your site.

7. Accessibility - increasing accessibility with CSS meansbeing able to serve web content to a larger audience,increasing web site usability, even for non-disabledpeople. Content can easily be formatted for projection aswell as screen display. Tableless layouts display well onhand-helds.

8. Improve the printing of web pages - most printers willonly allow you to print a portion of the web page. With CSSyour whole document can be printed.

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

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

Herman Drost is the Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW)owner and author of http://www.iSiteBuild.com AffordableWeb 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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