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Sep. 24, 2012

Web Design with CSS3: The Next Generation

Cascading Style Sheets, commonly referred to as CSS, is a design language intended to simplify the process of designing web pages. Simply put, it’s a mechanism for adding style (e.g., fonts, colors, spacing) to Web documents. CSS3 is the latest version creating a buzz with web developers and designers and it’s important for business owners to understand the basics of CSS3 and how it impacts their website.

The term cascading in Cascading Style Sheets refers to how browsers determine which styles to apply to a specific part of a web page. As web applications and technologies used to enhance websites advanced, users of the first two CSS generations found that the mark-up language couldn’t handle the complex requirements of more intricate websites.

To fix this problem CSS3 works in a module system, allowing separate components to be updated and edited gradually and individually, instead of all at once. Some of the most important CSS3 modules are:

  • Selectors
  • Box Model
  • Backgrounds and Borders
  • Text Effects
  • 2D/3D Transformations
  • Animations
  • Multiple Column Layout
  • User Interface

Web designers can build content-rich pages while using relatively lightweight coding requirements for things such as making 3D objects, rotating objects, maximize minimize with the help of hover, active links, and much more. Such an update can save a lot of time and energy, particularly for overworked designers and developers.

Using CSS3, developers can now use impressive visual effects while building interfaces that are user-friendlier. As important, using CSS3 allows for cleaner, more professional looking sites that load faster, even with multiple effects and plugins. Not only is that important to keeping visitors on your website, but site speed is a ranking factor that major search engines take into account when indexing a page.

If you are considering building a new website make sure your web development team is using all the latest and greatest optimization techniques and technologies, including CSS3. By using modern standards like CSS3 and HTML5, you can dramatically reduce the cost of building and maintaining a website when compared to legacy HTML-only pages. You can also greatly reduce the amount of physical bandwidth and hard disk space required, resulting in immediate long-term benefits for business.

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