Cascading Style Sheets is a ubiquitous part of every modern website design. Although most beginners are not acquainted with Cascading Style Sheets, CSS is a name everyone knows. You want your website to look like the cover of a trend and lifestyle magazine? CSS is there to help you out. You want your landing page to be as minimal and formal as your corner office? CSS will make that happen. You want your e-commerce store to be as organized and attractive as your real store? You have CSS! In short, there is no design trick CSS cannot pull to give your e-commerce site the layout it deserves.
Why do you need CSS for your e-commerce site development?
Do you remember the drab brutalist reign pre-1996? That was only possible because CSS did not exist back then. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) developed CSS in 1996 and unlocked the gates to a new Eden for all website developers. In came all the colorful backgrounds, new fonts, varying text colors and sizes, and customizable positioning of the website content. In fact, that was precisely the time the profession flourished. Right now, CSS not only takes care of a website’s look but also cares about its user experience (UX). You can find out how the external .css files define how your entire website looks during custom web design El Paso.
What does CSS do for your website?
CSS has made it easy to implement consistency in design across a website. Almost all e-commerce sites and templates for website development use CSS extensively to make sitewide uniformity in design possible. Using the selectors, CSS points towards specific HTML elements across the site that should specifically use the new style elements. A combination of selectors or a slight modification of them allows the designers to implement the design additively. You can easily add new elements to an old design with very little work. CSS has made selective application of design elements possible for developers of all expertise.
For example – you might want your landing page to look different from your store’s homepage or a page from your e-commerce blog. On the landing page, you can preserve a few elements from the existing design and completely replace the other elements. With little to no effort, you can make your CSS work on a page-by-page basis, selectively replacing and removing design elements as per your necessity.
CSS can help you with special promotions
This works out marvelously for all webmasters during special promotions and product launches. You can tweak your code to create new promotional pages and product pages, without the pervasive sidebars. These pages are temporary in nature with temporary highlight-worthy content. Designing a product page with sidebars will shift the potential buyer’s attention towards the center of the page, thereby driving them further through the sales funnel.
You can add and remove design elements selectively to your web pages
Adding subtle variations as per theme is very easy using CSS. Have you noticed how leading e-commerce sites including Sephora, Free People, L.L. Bean, Man of Many and Blue Nile add festive decor to their sites by the end of November each year? Think of your website as your land-based shop. You will find it much easier to understand what we are saying. A well-decorated shop enjoys more footfalls and sales before the holiday season. Similarly, people appreciate online stores that uphold the spirit of the holidays with digital sprinkles, Santa hats, candy canes, lollipops and snowman figures.
If these websites ended up adding these elements to the core design, adding them and removing them each year would become a Sisyphean task, even for the best developer teams. Therefore, most of them make use of CSS’ selective and customization friendly nature to add new design elements and themes sitewide or only to your landing page. Once the festivities are over, you can remove the snowflakes and candy canes to make space for the V-Day specials.
The challenges CSS brings
Too much of anything is good for nothing – this proverb from the olden days rings true for CSS and website development as well. Over the last two decades, developers have faced quite a few challenges while working with CSS.
- Too many ways for the same style element
One of the biggest challenges of using CSS can rise from the rapid expansion of a website. CSS targets specific elements and this can give rise to pages with their custom designs. As a website continuously accumulates new pages, maintaining each one can become a problem. It takes a toll on the uniformity of the design instead of facilitating it. You may even end up with a dozen options for stylizing a widget on your website. Each option might be slightly different from the other, and it is indeed implausible to determine the right one.
- The risk of becoming too basic
While the first problem points towards diversification stemming from high specificity, the second problem points towards a highly generic CSS. There are instances where style rules have broken out and affected other elements. Now, unless you are always vigilant, you will never know it is happening. Therefore, by the time most website owners and e-commerce site managers notice this debacle, it is already too late. In fact, not noticing is quite normal and it happens to online stores at least 80% of the times. The next time you see a good-old retailer site overhauling its look, you will know the secret reason behind it.
Just in case you are thinking that you want to bypass these problems by avoiding the use of CSS, think again. It is the backbone of almost all website layouts. All developer teams have been working on websites, plug-ins, and extensions based on the extensive use of CSS. Browsers have evolved to accommodate the new CSS updates and vice versa. Therefore, it is simply too precious for you to avoid completely. Not using CSS is not the solution to these problems at all. Being vigilant about the challenges it. It is one of the most powerful means to implement the small tweaks on your e-commerce site to introducing sitewide changes that alter the UI completely.