26 January 2024

20 CSS Tips to Make Your Web Designs Shine!

By Ronald Smith

Improve your web designs with our awesome guide on 20 must-know CSS tips and tricks.

Hey there! Are you ready to level up your web design game? Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned pro, CSS is the secret sauce you need to unlock your full design potential.

Welcome, my friend, to our ultimate guide: “20 Basic CSS Tips for Designers.” This blog post has got your back and is here to help you conquer CSS like a boss. We’ve handpicked 20 crucial CSS tips and tricks, complete with examples, that will supercharge your web designs and make them shine brighter than ever.

When it comes to CSS, I’ve got you covered. From mastering the CSS box model, positioning, and transitions, to understanding the power of pseudo-elements and the importance of cross-browser compatibility, I’ve got all the tips and tricks you need. We’ll even dive into CSS resets, shorthand properties, media queries, and more.

So, whether you’re working on a simple website or a complex development project, these CSS tips will be your handy guide. They’ll help your designs stand out in the crowded digital landscape.

10 Common CSS Mistakes Developers Often Make

Let’s talk about the common mistakes developers make and how you can avoid them to write cleaner and more efficient CSS code. Read on to learn more.

1. Use CSS Reset

When it comes to reducing browser inconsistencies, CSS Reset is key. It provides a clean slate for styling elements. For example, you can use Eric Meyer’s CSS reset:

2. Shorthand Properties Simplify Code

Did you know that shorthand properties can make your code cleaner and save you time? Let me show you an example. Instead of writing:

margin-top: 10px; margin-right: 20px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 20px;

Now, you can simply write:

margin: 10px 20px;

3. CSS Variables Make Life Easier

CSS variables, or custom properties, are a handy tool that let you store specific values for reuse in your CSS code. They make it easier to maintain consistency throughout your stylesheets.

For example, let’s say you have a main color that you use throughout your design. Instead of hardcoding the color value every time you need it, you can define a CSS variable for it and reuse it wherever necessary. This way, if you ever decide to change the color, you only need to update the variable in one place, and it will automatically reflect the change everywhere it’s used.

Here’s an example of how you can define a CSS variable:


:root {

–main-color: #c06c84;



Once you’ve defined a CSS variable, you can use it anywhere in your stylesheets by referencing the variable with the `var()` function. For example, you can use it to set the color of text like this:


body {

color: var(–main-color);



Another powerful feature of CSS is Flexbox and Grid, which are layout systems that make it easier to create complex layouts. Instead of relying on floats or positioning hacks, you can use Flexbox and Grid to achieve responsive and flexible designs.

For example, with Flexbox, you can easily create a flex container by adding the following CSS:


.container {

display: flex;



This immediately turns the container into a flex container, allowing its child elements to be flex items that can be arranged in any direction, aligned, and spaced out as desired. This makes it much simpler to create flexible and responsive layouts.

Media queries are another useful feature in CSS that allow you to apply different styles based on the device or screen width. This is essential for making your designs look good on different devices, from small smartphones to large desktop screens.

Here’s an example of how you can use media queries:


@media (max-width: 600px) {

body {

background-color: lightblue;




In this example, the background color of the body will change to light blue when the browser window width is 600 pixels or less. This allows you to create responsive designs that adapt to different screen sizes.

Finally, the CSS cascade is worth mentioning. It’s the process by which the browser determines which style declarations to apply when there are conflicting styles. Understanding how the cascade works can give you more control over how your styles are applied.

In summary, CSS variables, Flexbox, Grid, media queries, and the CSS cascade are all powerful tools that can make your CSS code more efficient and maintainable. By using these features, you can create beautiful and responsive designs with ease.

Hey there! Did you know that CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets? It’s a nifty tool that helps you make your code more efficient. You see, with CSS, you can set global styles and then override them for specific elements or components.

7. Get the Hang of Specificity

Now, here’s an interesting concept: CSS specificity. This determines which CSS rule the browsers use. It’s all about counting the number of ID selectors, class selectors, and type selectors. Just remember, an ID selector has a higher specificity than class selectors and type selectors.

8. Have Fun with Pseudo-classes and Pseudo-elements

But wait, there’s more! Pseudo-classes and pseudo-elements are super cool. They let you style specific parts of an element. For example, you can make the hover state of a button look just the way you want it to:


9. Spice Things Up with CSS Functions

Get ready to level up your CSS game! CSS functions are here to make your code more dynamic. Take the calc() function, for instance. It can help you calculate values in a snap:

10. Organize Your Code with Comments

I’ve always found it helpful to use comments in my code. They not only make it easier for me to understand what’s going on, but they also help others who might be looking at my code. Comments can be used to divide sections of your CSS, making it more navigable.

For instance, I could add a comment like this:

11. Master the Box Model

The CSS box model serves as the foundation for designing layouts with CSS. It encompasses margins, borders, padding, and the actual content.

Take a look at this example:



12. Get a Grip on Positioning

CSS offers various positioning properties such as static, relative, fixed, absolute, and sticky. These properties empower you to control how elements are positioned on a webpage.

For example, let’s say you want to position an element relative to its normal position:


.element {

position: relative;



13. Harness the Power of em and rem Units

em and rem are special units in CSS that allow you to control the size of elements in a flexible way. When you use em, the size of the element will be relative to the font size of its closest parent. On the other hand, rem is relative to the root element’s font size.

For example:

.element {

font-size: 2em; /* 2 times the font size of the parent element */


14. Add Content Before and After Elements

You can use the :before and :after pseudo-elements to add content before or after the actual content of an element.

For example:

.element:before {

content: “Before”;


.element:after {

content: “After”;


15. Ensure Cross-Browser Compatibility with Vendor Prefixes

To make sure that your CSS properties work correctly on different browsers, you can use vendor prefixes. These prefixes are added before the property name and ensure compatibility across different browsers.

For example:

.element {

-webkit-transition: all 0.3s ease;

-moz-transition: all 0.3s ease;

-ms-transition: all 0.3s ease;

-o-transition: all 0.3s ease;

transition: all 0.3s ease;


16. Add Smooth Animations with the transition Property

If you want to create smooth animations for your CSS properties, you can use the transition property. This property allows you to animate changes in CSS properties over a specific duration.

For example:

17. Make Colors Transparent with rgba

You can use the rgba function to set colors with alpha transparency.

For example:

.element {

background-color: rgba(255, 0, 0, 0.5); /* semi-transparent red */


18. Transform and Modify Elements in 2D and 3D

The transform property allows you to rotate, scale, skew, or move an element.

For example:

.element {

transform: rotate(45deg) scale(1.2) skewX(10deg) translateX(20px);


19. Include External CSS Files with @import

The @import rule enables you to include external CSS files.

For example:

@import url(“styles.css”);

20. Use !important Sparingly

When it comes to styling your web page, there is a special rule called “!important” that can be really handy. This rule has the power to override other declarations, which means it can make your styles take precedence over everything else. Sounds pretty cool, right? Well, it definitely has its benefits, but be careful because it can also make things tricky.

One thing to keep in mind is that using the !important rule too much can lead to a tangled mess. It breaks the natural flow of cascading in your stylesheets, making it harder to understand and debug your code. So, my advice is to use it sparingly and only when it’s absolutely necessary.

Remember, the whole purpose of using cascading stylesheets is to create a logical and organized structure for styling your web page. The cascading nature allows styles to be applied in a systematic and predictable way. When you start throwing in too many !important rules, it can quickly become chaotic.

Think of it this way: imagine you’re in a line waiting for something. You have your place in the line, and everyone behind you knows they have to wait their turn. But suddenly, someone jumps to the front of the line and says, “I’m more important!” That’s kind of what the !important rule does to your stylesheets. It disrupts the natural order and can cause confusion.

So, while the !important rule can be a powerful tool, it’s best to use it wisely. Keep things organized and maintain the natural cascading flow of your stylesheets. This will make your code more readable and easier to debug in the long run.