The Benefits Of Cascading Style Sheets Css Computer Science Essay

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If we are still designing with tables then we are missing out on a lot of the benefits of cascading style sheets (CSS). Tables were not supposed to be used for designing but unfortunately it has been the standard for a long time.

Not any more.

 An external style sheet can contain all the styles for our web site, and then if we want to change the content we only have to edit one style sheet. This is great for a web site that contains hundreds or thousands of pages.

Imagine if we had to edit each page. It would take us forever.

 Google gives more weight to content closer to the top of our HTML document. Search engines spider the content that comes first in our source code. With CSS we can easily structure the content to appear first with the rest of the source code following it. This will help outrank our competitors who may have their navigation appear first and their content last. Tables slow down the loading of our pages because the spider has to crawl through each table. If our tables are nested inside each other our page will load even more slowly. Designing CSS-based web pages will speed up the loading of our pages considerably because the styles are all contained in one style sheet.

CSS will reduce the file size of our html document. If our look at a web page that is designed with CSS we will notice that the size is very small compared to one designed with lots of tables. This also helps reduce load times.

CSS allows us to get rid of a lot of extraneous html code therefore making our site code neater and cleaner. This makes it easy to alter the code if we need to make edits. Many people surf the web with JavaScript turned off because they don't want to be vulnerable to viruses or allow pop-ups. This means that the beautiful JavaScript navigation we produced will not

be seen. We can often achieve the same affect with CSS navigation. These allow for rollovers and other pretty affects and are much more user friendly.

If we use CSS2's aural properties it provides information to non-sighted users and voice-browser users. The CSS2 "media types" (used with @media rules) allow authors and users to design style sheets that will cause documents to render more appropriately for certain devices such as Braille devices, speech synthesizers, or try (text telephone) devices.

Learn more about Accessibility Features of CSS

CSS will allow us to design our site much faster than tables because there are some styles we can use for every site. I store "often used" CSS snippets in a special file where I can easily access them for any site I design. CSS will shorten the project development process and eliminate design obstacles that occur from using tables. If designing many web sites we will be able to use the same style sheets or just make a few modifications to them. We will still charge for the design project but it won't take as long as when using tables thus making us more money in a shorter time period.

We can use pixel precision in our web site designs. By adjusting the margins and padding of the CSS we can easily adjust the position of our content. We can also create very modern designs that can't be duplicated with tables. For example we can use a background image for a header then place our content over it using the H1 tag for better page optimization. The future of the web is moving towards better accessibility with web sites so they can be viewed by as many people as possible. This may be enforced in future web standards therefore if our web site is still using tables or deprecated tags it may become obsolete or disappear from the search engines.

This could really hurt our business. When a user chooses to print a web page an alternative CSS document can be called up. This document can specify that formatting, images and navigation disappear and just the page content appear on the printed version.

JavaScript is an excellent solution to implement when validating input forms on the client side. This means that if a user forgets to enter his name in a form for instance a JavaScript validation function can popup a message to let him know about the omission. This is a far better solution that having a server side validation routine handles the error because the server does not have to do any additional processing. An asp or PHP routine could be written to achieve the same task but the JavaScript would not allow the form to be submitted unless it was completed properly in the first place, a much more robust solution!

Another area where JavaScript excels is in the creation of dynamic effects such as rollover images and scripted slideshows, where its use has become commonplace. Because JavaScript runs inside the clients browser it can be used to change the appearance of the users screen after the page has been sent by the server. This allows it to create some very impressive dynamic image effects.

PHP is the first choice if we are going to develop a dynamic website. We don't have to worry if PHP would run on a specific operating system because PHP can be run on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, BSD, Solaris, as well as any variety of different platforms.

The profits for we will be huge because PHP is free! We can just download the code, use it in our business and make changes without worrying about licensing fees or anything. Our website will be in top shape and will be able to perform at a high level. PHP has a very high benchmark when compared to any other languages.

PHP has many different functions that are already prepared for us to use. There are functions for handling database connections, formatting date, editing strings, handling emails, etc.

We can easily extend PHP if we have any specific functions that we would want to incorporate in our website.

PHP already runs on millions of servers around the world, which basically means that it's powerful enough for even the most demandin0g situations.

PHP has its own debugging system that will allow us to quickly spot errors in our development. There are also a number of free and commercial debuggers around to help us.

We're never left alone when developing with PHP. There are countless of free scripts and very good developers that will surely help in our development.

PHP is simply fun to use. The syntax rules are very loose and we can easily fix errors which will save we from a lot of headaches.