How to Learn CSS: Top Learning Resources
CSS is the primary medium of styling how websites appear. If it were not for CSS, we would have never been able to come out of the 90s as far as websites’ looks are concerned. Businesses and brands rely on CSS to customize their webpages according to their design and provide customers with a uniform experience across all platforms, virtual or physical. For anyone starting with web development, CSS comes second, after HTML, in the journey to learning the fundamentals of the web.
In this guide, we will take a look at some of the top resources you can use to learn CSS well enough to build a career in frontend development!
What Is CSS?
CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. CSS is the most basic method of modifying a webpage’s looks and style. It relies on selectors to identify HTML tags from your website and apply desired styles to them. CSS is what adds life to dull HTML. You can play around with selectors and property values to create the design that you want.
CSS has grown over the years to support the ever-changing requirements of the market. It supports responsive progressive web application (PWA) development. PWAs are fast, adaptive, and light on the user’s device. With powerful media queries and nested selectors, it is possible to create PWAs with just one sheet of CSS!
Why Should You Learn CSS?
Having discussed how CSS makes styling in web applications possible, it is evident that CSS is an important skill to pick up as an aspiring web application developer. CSS helps you style your applications quickly and create beautiful interfaces that easily convert prospective users into customers.
The Best Books for Learning CSS
We have compiled a list of the top books to learn CSS. These books are also great sources of reference:
HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites takes a rather different approach to HTML and CSS than most other content. The authors have tried their best to introduce HTML and CSS to a wide audience by making the topics as accessible as possible. Whether you are a student learning CSS for the first time or an experienced professional looking to sharpen your command over the stylesheets of the web, this book will meet your needs.
CSS Secrets is a practical guide to CSS meant for intermediate and advanced CSS developers. Taking a different approach than most other books on the subject, CSS Secrets reveals a large number of undocumented techniques and elegant solutions to the most common CSS problems.
The book covers a lot of non-standard topics such as user experience, visual effects, transitions, and animations to help you understand the lesser-known aspects of the styling language. All in all, CSS Secrets is a great book to take up once you have had some experience with CSS and are looking to solve complex problems in it.
The CSS Pocket Reference serves as a quick CSS cheatsheet. The book covers all the essential information that you need when styling webpages with CSS. If you are a beginner, the presentation might confuse you a little. However, for intermediate to advanced users, the CSS Pocket Reference is a great resource to refer back to whenever needed.
The Best Courses for Learning CSS
Frontend Masters houses a great collection of multimedia resources on frontend application development. They have custom curated paths to help beginners take their first steps into the world of web development easily. The CSS Learning Path boasts a great list of video tutorials that also tackle CSS. With people from Spotify and Netlify teaching you how to build your first web app, an enriching learning experience is guaranteed.
CodeAcademy’s Learn CSS is one of the most thorough CSS courses out there. With individual lessons on topics like selectors and visual rules, this course will leave you with a wealth of CSS knowledge to apply in practical situations. The lessons from this course are available for free, but you need a “pro” subscription to access additional material like quizzes and certificates.
Offered by the University of Michigan, Introduction to CSS3 is one of the premier courses on CSS. It is a part of the Web Design for Everybody Specialization, and offers detailed materials to master the styling language of the web. With 11 hours of free online content, this course is certain to get you started creating beautiful webpages.
The first two weeks walk the learners through the fundamentals of web styling. The third week takes a detour into more complex concepts like pseudo-elements. The last week masterfully concludes the course by bringing everything together and summarizing all the materials.
The Best Tutorials for Learning CSS
CSS Tricks is a popular blog on CSS that features posts from established web developers in the industry. They often post about innovative things that you can build using simply CSS and HTML. These projects will help you realize the true potential of the styling language; they will help you create high-performance web applications. For beginners, CSS Tricks is a great place to come to understand the many things that you can do with CSS.
CSS Reference by CoDrops is a collection of advanced content on CSS subtopics. The website provides a list of such topics, grouped according to their application in the web development process. The reference list serves as a great cheatsheet for those looking for a quick way to look up key concepts and find solutions to their problems.
If you are a beginner, you might want to check out their Tutorials and Playground section, which features content on web application development in general.
W3Schools is often considered the Bible of vanilla web development. It is the oldest content provider on the different elements and moving parts of the web. Its content is known to be tried and tested over years. The CSS section of W3Schools offers a tutorial as well as reference material to help you get started with CSS. It also serves as a great cheatsheet.
Now that we have seen a detailed list of resources that can help you get started with the foundations of web development, it is time to choose the one that suits you best. Not all courses will be a good match, and choosing the wrong one can significantly slow down your learning.
It is totally natural to prefer books over tutorials, or vice-versa. However, with technologies like CSS that require hands-on practice and study, a guided tutorial can be a better fit.