CSS tips

If you are a blogger who wants to learn how to use CSS (cascading Style Sheets) to modify the look and feel of your blog and you are after some tips you might want to check out the latest post over at Business Logs where Mike gives his 5 CSS tips.

  1. Organize Your CSS
  2. Avoid Default Styles
  3. Use Your Utility Tags
  4. Use The Right Tool For The Job
  5. Name According To Where It Is, Not What It Looks Like

I won’t pretend I understand half of what he’s talking about (design is not my forte) but he is someone who knows how to design and so might be worth listening to on the topic.

Looks like Scrivs has some useful things to say on CSS also here.

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  1. Some good tips that I would advise everyone to follow. I organzie my css the same way though I use a different order. It’s so much easier to find things than by having typography in one place and color in another.

    I disagree on a couple of points, though only slightly. I will make use of defaults if possible. It can save extra code. For example my tags are generally going to be the same on every page. There’s no reason they need extra classes applies. Same for tags which I want to look the same throughout my content. I’ll happily add some tags where necessary, but if there’s no reason to it can space file size and consequently download time. Another tip along that same line is to use shortcuts. Most css properties have shortcuts that can save a lot of space.

    I disagee a little too with the last point. If I have a class that is only there to make some text red there’s nothing wrong with giving a class name or red. Yes if it’s a firetruck it doesn’t need class=”red truck fire” in that case I would have a separate class called firetruck. However there might be times where I want to have various elements througout a site simply be red and having a class named red that only sets the color red is going to be the simplest way to do that.

    After reading this post I think I may have decided on the topic of my next post.

  2. Peter Mount says:

    I hate to be a spoilsport but on the web site (with the online html and css validators):

    Business Logs had 23 errors in the xhtml. There were 2 errors in the CSS, generated by the use of the underscore hack. This is forgiveble but with IE7 coming this is not good ( see Also, the CSS generated a tonne of warnings.

    Wisdump (Scrivs) had no errors in the CSS but still had a lot of warnings. The html validator found 26 errors in the xhtml.

    Sorry if I seem picky but if your going to write about CSS you’d better be prepared for people like me looking at the xhtml and css behind your web site or blog.

  3. Dave Dash says:

    I agree, don’t name things based on what it looks like, e.g. don’t name a selector “bold” but at the same time, I wouldn’t name it where it is either. For somethings it might make sense, but generally you would avoid that, because your layouts change. For example the b5media is on my left, but that doesn’t mean it shoudl be in #leftbar, why not in #b5media.

    The avoidance of selectors like .red is due to the fact that we may as well just use inline styles if we’re going to do selectors like .red. I use “red” a lot but it’s usually a “warning” or “notice.” It makes a lot more sense to people who interpret color differently and might be using different style sheets.

    Good find Darren, many bloggers can definitely benefit from better styles. (BTW, I really like your sites clean look).

  4. I find that a good way to get into CSS is to take an existing CSS from a design that you like and go through it step by step, looking up any tags that you don’t recognize. You can then take a look at some of the source code that references those styles to see what the results are and where it is used.

    I find real time experience to be the best teacher =).

  5. Some good tips there.

    If you’re serious about improving your CSS + xHTML, these two resources are also worth a visit: (Tutorials) (Podcast)