5 Useful CSS Tips for Beginners

CSS Developer

With so many easy ways to build your website, it can be a real test of your patience trying to get everything to look like you want it to look. Then, to make matters worse, along comes Google and their now infamous Mobilegeddon and you need to develop and learn how to style your website so that it can be viewed well on different mobile screens. It is hard enough learning to use a template let alone trying to modify the style so that it functions and looks like you need it to.

1. Begin by Learning About CSS

The first step you should take is to do a bit of research on exactly what CSS is. What the acronym stands for is Cascading Style Sheet. It is the code you use to set the style or appearance of your website. Whereas you would use HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) to work with your site’s content, CSS lets you set the appearance of that content. That’s an incredibly simplified explanation, but it should give you a clue that beginners need a solid understanding of working with code before trying to use it. Finding some guide to CSS would be very useful, especially for beginners, as learning a programming language can be very difficult for somebody who has no previous experience with how these languages work.

2. Look for CMS with CSS Included

Okay, now we have another acronym to work with. CMS stands for Content Management System, and the most popular and easiest to work with is thought to be Joomla and WordPress. These platforms come with CSS coding in the package, and so that might be an excellent place to begin playing with learning to code for stylistic modifications.

3. Work on a ‘Dummy’ Website

Another useful tip from those who have had the misfortune of totally messing up their website is to use a dummy website throughout your learning experience. While you can often work offline, it is best to view how your code looks on a live site. Play around a bit on a site that won’t be used for anything except trial and error.

4. Consider Investing in Online Workshops and Classes

Sometimes it’s like learning to speak a foreign language. In fact, it is very much like learning to speak another language because you will be working in code. Sometimes you use a shorthand version of CSS code which does make it easier, but only if you know the original code, you are trying to abbreviate. If you want to spend less time and become far less frustrated, it does pay to take a class or two.

5. Always Have a Dedicated Editor on Hand

Finally, it is inevitable that you will need to do a bunch of editing in the very beginning. Even professional web developers with all the training imaginable make a mistake or two along the way – ‘to err is human.’ Instead of keeping a notepad open, a free CSS editor can be a huge timesaver in the long term. Anything that is going to save time is going to offer fewer frustrations, and that’s what a novice coder needs.

Whether you simply want to build websites for your personal or business use or are interested in becoming a web developer, learning to use CSS codes is a vital step in the process.

Michael Pignataro
Co-Chief Executive Officer - Operations at 'corePHP'
Entrepreneur, family man and long-time magician, "Magic Man" Michael Pignataro is co-owner of 'corePHP' with his mirror-image twin brother, Steven. Michael is 'corePHP's Co-Chief Executive Officer - Operations. He's also got a wicked fast wrist at the foosball table.