CSS Templates (Page
The free CSS templates
below are provided in .ZIP format. There are currently over 280 free CSS website templates
that you can use for your website design
Why NOT Using CSS Should Be Criminal
Some of the major factors in setting up a website are time, money and design consistency. In days gone by, a website was designed page by page using tables, which quickly became tedious, time consuming, and very expensive. On top of this, human error meant irregularities crept in with the design of each page, meaning that the overall branding of the site was compromised. Plus, if you ever planned a redesign of your entire website, you’d find it an incredibly costly experience.
CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheet and it helps combat these problems, improving your visitors’ experience and boosting the brand image of your business, by using the same format across every page of your website. CSS lets you specify the exact style of your pages – from colour to layout and even font – by detailing the presentation of the markup language (usually HTML or XHTML). Today, CSS is the preferred choice both visitors and web designers alike.
What’s the Difference between CSS and Tables?
Whether you can tell at first glance how a website has been created depends mostly on your web design experience. However, if you’re a novice, you can usually tell through the level of consistency throughout the pages of the website. Are the fonts the same on every page? Are the titles the same size? Do the layouts have a specific format?
If you want to go into more technical detail, you could check the source code of the website. A site designed using CSS will look like this:
<div>Content placed here…</div>
While a website designed using tables will look like this:
<td>Content placed here</td>
You can immediately see, even if you have no prior experience, that a website designed using tables is more complicated and requires more code. Web designers and developers will tell you that more code and a higher level of difficulty, means more mistakes on a page – resulting in more inconsistency.
Another issue that arises is the inflexibility of cells in a table, which all rely on each other to maintain their shape and structure. You can’t easily move a cell – or break the unyielding grid structure. You can, however, do this with CSS’s div coding.
CSS and Speed
By using CSS, you cut the amount of time your website takes to load and reduce the bandwidth needed. This is beneficial to both your demanding customers who appreciate speed and your business in terms of your web hosting costs. The CSS document is only accessed once when a customer views your website – and because web content is separated from the design language, your file transfer size is decreased.
Why is Inconsistency Such a Problem?
Errors and inconsistencies make your website, and your business, look unprofessional. Modern websites are often very large and complex entities, rather than the simple static five pages of days gone by. If your font, spacing, heading and layout morphs with the addition of every page, your customers will be confused; they may not even realise they are still on the same website.
Similarly, if you sell numerous products which change on a very frequent basis, you’ll need to add and amend your pages regularly. CSS allows you to add products simply and quickly, while maintaining the overall look and feel of your website.
Below is an example of how CSS is used to specify all font properties in a single declaration:
font:italic bold 12px/30px Georgia, serif;
This declaration specifies the following properties for your text: font-style, font-variant, font-weight, font-size/line-height, and font-family. As you can see, it’s a far simpler way in which to guarantee consistency than by having to choose the font every time you insert text.
CSS and the Internet Browser
With several options of internet browser available, you can’t be sure which portal your visitors are using to view your site. CSS is compatible with all browsers, allowing more viewers to see your website as you intend them to. Also, with the increase in the use of mobile devices to access the net, CSS is very helpful. You can create separate style sheets that allow people to view your website on their phones in the best possible way. In addition, CSS is clean and well optimised for search engines. There is less code than with tables, so bots can read your website content easily, which is ideal for boosting your rankings and consequently your online presence.
In essence, in this day and age there is no need to hand-code everything on your website. Tables waste time, energy and money, so if you’re thinking about updating your website use CSS to boost your brand, your web-efficiency and the professionalism of your online business, while making your design budget go further.