You go through multiple websites in a day, but among them, only a few capture your attention with their aesthetics. There’s nothing wrong in just using HTML to create web pages and applications, but using a style sheet language makes the content more readable. In this study, we will look at the advantages and disadvantages of one such style sheet language, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).
As the name suggests, this language is concerned with the look and feel of the website. It allows you to determine the page layouts, color, and fonts, among other things. Popularly, HTML is compared to the foundation of the house and CSS to its design. It makes the websites enticing, and the difference in the results is enough to convince you how crucial it is. With that said, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of CSS.
Advantages of CSS
You can use CSS along with HTML to make your website presentable to visitors. This is to say, it gives you a higher degree of control over presentation. Right from text colors to font style, you can customize the web pages the way you want. Plus, it allows you to get more amount of styling work done in less time. That’s exactly what developers look for—to get efficient output with minimum input. The following are some other benefits of CSS.
1. Enhances user experience
When you build webpages only using HTML, you end up neglecting User Experience (UX). Effective UX is a key factor that decides whether the visitors will stay on the website or revisit in the future. CSS allows user-friendly formatting to customize user experiences. Additionally, it offers rich features such as animations and transitions. This not only satisfies the customer but also delights them.
The impressive benefit of CSS is its consistency. With consistency, we mean you can say no to laborious work. You can change the formatting easily and the update will be done to all pages using that style sheet. To clarify, you will be making changes to only one line of code and the style will be applied across web pages. This way, with a couple of lines of code, you can change the way your complete website looks.
Time efficiency is a follow-up to the point that we made in the above section. Since you are not wasting your time and efforts in changing the format of each web page individually, you can save a lot of your time. This makes CSS time efficient and results in quicker development time. Additionally, you can replicate the CSS across the various pages of the website if you want similar formatting.
4. Improves speed
The logic behind improved website speed using CSS is quite simple. The lesser the amount of code, the quicker the page loading gets. That’s exactly how CSS helps us improve the speed of our website. Also, speed improvements result in improvement in search engine ranking. This is a win-win situation—the website owner gets more visitors, while visitors and users get a better experience.
5. Easy maintenance
Web development has been simplified with the introduction of languages that focus on essential elements. Using CSS lets you not only streamline development but also maintenance. Maintaining one page that includes all the formatting styles is much easier than taking care of each page individually.
6. Device compatibility
The importance of responsive web design cannot be underestimated, as it ensures that web pages render well across various devices and screens. CSS provides better device compatibility. Therefore, you can rest assured knowing your website can be viewed as you imagined it, irrespective of the type of device (mobile, laptop, desktop) and screen size and resolution visitors use.
CSS allows you to create external files for determining design attributes. That way, you can make your HTML code less crowded. This is especially beneficial when it comes to SEO. The reason is, search engine spiders don’t really go through all those HTML codes to get the indexed ones. Therefore, keeping the code clean ultimately improves the search engine rankings of the website.
Disadvantages of CSS
The advantages of CSS are quite impressive, aren’t they? But it’s time to look at the other side of the spectrum. Here are some drawbacks of CSS.
1. Security issues
Being open-source comes with a fair share of benefits and drawbacks. One such downside is security concerns. Anyone with access can make changes to the CSS. This can disrupt the formatting of the website. CSS doesn’t provide built-in security, which is an essential feature in today’s time. A few of the security-related vulnerabilities of CSS are keylogger and data theft.
2. Creates confusion
CSS comes in quite a lot of different levels. Broadly speaking, there are CSS, CSS2, and CSS3. Each of these versions is distinct from the other in terms of features. This produces confusion, and it strikes beginners and users who aren’t developers even more. One type of CSS should have been enough. However, we are left here to oscillate between different levels before deciding on which one to use for our projects.
3. Cross-browser issues
When developing websites, developers need to ensure the code is compatible with various browsers. Even though browsers such as Chrome, Mozilla, Safari, and Firefox are commonly used, it doesn’t guarantee users will use the same. Hence, tests are conducted to check the compatibility before setting the website live. The cross-browser problems are one such drawback of CSS that consumes a lot of time. If compatibility testing is not done correctly, the website will fail to run adequately on other browsers.
4. Differences in display
CSS data is interpreted depending on the internet browser version. If the visitors are using an outdated version, they won’t be able to see the design properly. Instead, they will see content the way it has been interpreted by their browsers. This has an impact on the user experience, making the website look less desirable to them.