As you already know, all web page environments rely on Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) for their basic content and layout. Having a solid foundation in HTML is essential for building these pages. What you may or may not know is that a companion to HTML is the Cascading Style Sheet (CSS). Some CSS can be written within the HTML document itself, but most likely, for more extensive layout and design purposes, the CSS page lives as a separate but connected document to the HTML. 

The other aspect of using more advanced levels of CSS is that you will have control of the user interface (UI) as well as the user experience (UX). Web pages are created all the time, but not many provide the best interface and user experience. Being able to showcase your abilities to enhance people’s lives through a powerful and informative web page layout will further your career opportunities, and in the end, the users coming to visit your pages will benefit from your expertise. 

CSS gives web pages an extensive, almost endless list of possibilities when it comes to creative design. CSS provides the style aspect to everything you see on the world wide web. These styles can control all elements of color, shape, size, images, font design, and anything else you can imagine that exists on a web page.

This article will help you understand what advanced CSS is, how it is applied to web pages, and how it can make you a better developer and designer. We will also cover the basic essentials of advanced CSS and discuss the advantages of bringing your skills in this area up to speed.

What is Advanced CSS?

Advanced CSS takes you beyond the basics. Basic CSS gives you the groundwork and foundation, but advanced CSS takes you to a higher plane of creative existence. This will allow you to create and design superior websites that will dazzle your employers and customers. It will also allow you to design for all types of devices including cell phones, tablets, and any portable device that can access the internet. 

Building your own CSS code also means that your code layout is going to be clean, efficient, powerful, and streamlined so that it can be robust in all aspects of design. Auto-generated code is always full of extraneous, unnecessary code, and it is usually extremely difficult to read and decipher. With you writing your own code, you can showcase your ability to be neat and organized. You can then easily update your code, modify it, and enhance any area you need because the code is accessible and well organized. 

Additionally, adding comments to your CSS code helps to identify sections of code as well. When adding comments to your CSS file, use the following format.

/* comment  */

Comments will enable you to go back into your own code later and quickly identify what a code section is used for. If you are passing on your code to another code editor, having comments will be greatly appreciated.

In a CSS page it may look something like this:

H1.Button {      /* controlling the text on the button  */        vertical-align:bottom;        text-align:left; font-size:11pt; font-family:Arial; color:#ffffff; /* Font Color for Button */}

Adapting to a Mobile Environment to CSS

There are two areas in advanced CSS that allow you to structure web pages so that they move effortlessly with mobile devices of all shapes and sizes: Flexbox and CSS Grid Layout

Flexbox is a one-dimensional layout method for laying out items in rows or columns. Items flex to fill additional space and shrink to fit into smaller spaces. Flexbox can be used to arrange elements in columns or rows and align them on the page. It also has functions that automatically lays out content in response to different screen sizes and grows or shrinks your content based on other elements on the page. You can even use Flexbox properties to choose exactly which part of a web page is affected by your code.

A Flexible layout must have a parent element with the display property set to flex. Direct child elements(s) of the flexible container automatically becomes flexible items. The CSS might look something like this:

<style>.flex-container {  display: flex;  background-color: orange;}
.flex-container > div {  background-color: #f1f1f1;  margin: 10px;  padding: 18px;  font-size: 30px;}</style>

The following is a sample Flexbox. 

CSS Grid Layout is a powerful layout system for CSS. It is a two-dimensional system, meaning it can handle both columns and rows. The following is a sample of a grid layout that actually conforms to different size mobile screens.

Where to Next?

This introduction to the importance of CSS Grid Layout and Flexbox should provide a starting point for further inquiry into multi-functional web design. As you can see, there are virtually unlimited creative aspects that HTML offers. 

We will continue to explore other areas of HTML design in the next blog. We hope this introduction has piqued your interest and inspired you to explore further and dive deeper into the world of web design.

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