Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) allows you to organize the look of several pages across a website without having to manage the look of each page individually. (Think of how you’d use styles in Word or InDesign.) The Wikipedia entry on CSS, of course, is chock-full of good information.
Of course, there’s more:
- Adobe’s Dreamweaver manual section on CSS
- A List Apart’s CSS topics
- W3Schools’ CSS tutorials (Their box model is really helpful!)
- Smashing Magazine’s smashing tutorial
- Web Design Group’s CSS guide
- CSS Zen Garden illustrates how different the same content can look simply by changing the CSS.
- CSS Listamatic can help you make your list look the way you want it to.
And like most things, if you do a search for “CSS” and whatever it is you’re trying to figure out, you’ll find lots of answers.
Your first step toward using CSS should probably be to explore the links above, to familiarize yourself with what CSS is, what it can do, and how the language works.
Once you’re ready, start by mapping out on paper how you want your pages to look. (You can do this by hand or by getting fancy in InDesign or Photoshop.)
If you think of a website in Dreamweaver, there are multiple pages that make up the site. With CSS, there is an additional page to organize the look of the pages it’s attached to.
So next, in Dreamweaver, make your style sheet file (an external style sheet). Then, write your web pages (the content of your website) and link them to the external style sheet. Then, in your web pages, insert the div classes from your external style sheet file.
Sound easy enough?