CSS is short for Cascading Style Sheets. CSS is a set of styles or rules used to define how a webpage, website, or a particular XHTML element is formatted. CSS was introduced by the W3C as a way to standardize how web browsers decipher the formatting of a web page. Internet Explorer based web browsers and Mozilla based web browsers like Firefox and Netscape Navigator were continuing to add new proprietary HTML tags leading to programmers and designers having to spend more time worrying about cross browser compatibility then being creative and actually designing.
A CSS based layout is a cross browser compatible webpage that uses the "<DIV>" tag as its defining element. By using a "<DIV"> tag you can eliminate the complicated "<Table>" based layouts with embedded tables, table rows, and table cells.
  • CSS based layouts require less code on the webpage which means page load times are decreased and the content to code ratio increases
  • CSS based web pages have more aesthetically pleasing code then standard table based web pages.
  • CSS styles can be embedded into individual web pages or included from external CSS style sheets. The use of external CSS style sheets means less code on a page.
  • A single Cascading Style Sheet can be used on multiple pages. This means that once a web browser has read the style sheet once, it is cached and doesn't need to reload which in turn leads to a faster loading webpage.
  • By applying a single Cascading Style Sheet to multiple pages, changes for all associated pages can be made in one place which makes editing easier and more efficient.
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