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Pros and Cons of Using CSS

When CSS became the next ‘big’ thing for HTML, there was a lot of skepticism. They had good reason, as everyone expects new software, new processes, and new ways of doing things as bad, and short lived. Change is one of the United State’s biggest fears. Previous to CSS, you had to copy and paste lines of code, and if you wanted any changes to a layout, you had to make those same changes to every single page you had on the site. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) came along and changed all of that. You could write most of your formatting code on one page, point your other pages to look at that page of code, and they would all ‘fall into line’, and ‘conform’ to what the CSS page told them to do. There are pros and cons to using CSS, even now that XHTML is the new HTML, and the two languages are growing together.

Pros:

  • You can change some basic formatting on all of the pages on your site with tweaks to just one page of code. This saves a lot of time, especially if you are working on multiple sites.
  • CSS is becoming comfortable with XHTML and vice versa. The more both languages grow, the more they grow together. Possibly one day, CSS will be absorbed into XHTML completely.
  • CSS allows you more time to worry about the content of the site, a site’s ‘meat and potatoes’ so to speak. Instead of fussing to get every page uniform, in many ways, you set CSS and forget it.
  • More hacks will begin to make websites because it is ‘easier’ with the new technology, clogging the market with worthless drivel, and poor design, form, and function. Because of this, your content and design will look like gold!
  • Adding a new page will take seconds to add a few lines of code into your notepad, whereas with XHTML, you will need to start from scratch.

Cons:

  • You need to learn a different (but similar) coding language, or at least have a decent understanding of how it works to create or update a page that utilizes CSS.
  • Most mobile users able to access the web will not see CSS enabled pages. Though the Mobile browsers are becoming more attuned to web technology, you are going to lose a massive reader base by ignoring mobile technology.
  • Saving a website for later reading is no longer as simple as copy and pasting the page, the source code, or the entire .html document.
  • You are no longer keeping it simple, and traditionally, the more ‘moving parts’ that something has is directly proportional to the amount of things that can go wrong with them.
  • There are some things that CSS tries to do, but fails at. Because of this, if you try to make a code snippet in raw XHTML to simulate the functions that some of your site wants, and end up breaking your CSS and your XHTML.

So there are pros and cons to using CSS, and it is not an irritating bug that will go away in a season. It is a useful tool, though not perfect, that continues to get better daily.

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