What is HTML?

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HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the set of markup symbols or codes inserted in a file intended for display on a World Wide Web browser page. The markup tells the Web browser how to display a Web page’s words and images for the user. Each individual markup code is referred to as an element (but many people also refer to it as a tag).

HTML is a formal recommendation by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and is generally adhered to by the major browsers, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Netscape’s Navigator, which also provide some additional non-standard codes. The current version of HTML is HTML 4.0. However, both Internet Explorer and Netscape implement some features differently and provide non-standard extensions. Web developers using the more advanced features of HTML 4 may have to design pages for both browsers and send out the appropriate version to a user. Significant features in HTML 4 are sometimes described in general as dynamic HTML. What is sometimes referred to as HTML 5 is an extensible form of HTML called Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML).

What is CSS?

CSS is short for Cascading Style Sheets. It is a new web page layout method that has been added to HTML to give web developers more control over their design and content layout. Using CSS allows a designer to create a standard set of commands (either embedded inside the web page or from an external page) that controls the style of all subsequent pages.

With CSS you can add style (fonts, colors, spacing, size, links, etc.) to web documents. More advanced techniques control the layout of the page without the use of tables or other cumbersome HTML.

The most important thing for web designers to understand about CSS is that CSS separates the layout and the styles of a web page. This is often difficult to comprehend for web designers that are used to compiling their creative and HTML coding in a single web page document.

Styles such as fonts, font sizes, margins, can be specified in one place, then the Web pages feed off this one master list, with the styles cascading throughout the page or an entire site.

What are the benefits of using CSS?

Until recently web page layout was not an exact science. It has been managed by inventive designers who mastered table-based HTML layouts enough to create compelling sites. With CSS all of that has changed as standards are finally being set for the present and future of web design.

CSS is beneficial to the designer because of the aforementioned control they have over their website design and how it will appear across platforms and browsers.

Websites designed in CSS are faster to change and update. Because the coding is reduced the pages are more efficient and require less bandwidth. Cost saving functions like these are causing businesses to demand CSS from their designers which are forcing fewer hold-out designers to convert because their clients demand it.

The main benefit to designers and to companies is that CSS speeds up the time it takes to develop and update site layouts. Communication is easier among multiple developers because the workflow is standardized.

All in all, CSS is a development method that every designer will be using in the near future and one that is very beneficial to everyone involved, from the designer through to the end user.


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