What is CSS?
CSS is a great addition to the web designer's toolbag. CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. CSS is a system of rules that directly effect the display properties of your web pages such as colors, fonts, and layouts on your web browser. CSS style blocks are also commonly referred to as rules. These rules can be embedded into an individual HTML page or placed in an external file that will control many pages on your website. Thus changing a property in one place in the linked style sheet will immediately make that change on every web page that is linked to it.
Cascading stylesheets provide web developers a streamlined manner to style web pages. CSS will be used even more in the future because it is seen the same way by all browsers, making it the best option during the browser wars. These templates allow browser and platforms uniformity and compatibility.
What is XHTML?
The informal coding language of HTML has evolved over the past 30+ years in an organic manner. And over time, it has evolved into dialects with each programmer using their own shorthand, shortcuts, and approach to creating a line of code.
XML is a markup language where everything has to be marked up correctly, which results in "well-formed" documents.
Today some browsers view the Internet on computers and some browsers view the Internet on mobile phones and hand-held devices. The latter do not have the resources or power to interpret a "bad" markup language, they require XML.
Therefore - by combining HTML and XML, and their strengths, we got a markup language that is useful now and in the future - XHTML.
XHTML pages can be read by all XML enabled devices AND while waiting for the rest of the world to upgrade to XML supported browsers, XHTML gives you the opportunity to write "well-formed" documents now, that work in all browsers and that are backward browser compatible !!!
Why Do I Need to Care?
Both of these elements are the hallmark of good web design: CSS for appearance and XHTML for a search-engine and hand-held friendly website that will improve your rankings and accessiblity in the future.
- Ease of maintenance which reduces costs
- More changes made globally, less per page or line
- Makes websites "lighter" therefore faster loading
- Preferred by search engines, better ranking
- Clean CSS/XHTML code indicates proficiency and current knowledge
- More browser compatibility
- Better ADA accessibility