Getting To Know CSS: Writing Your Own CSS Code

May 01, 2014

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Welcome to our special series on getting to know CSS! Every other week, we'll debut a new article full of valuable tips and tricks that will help you to understand how CSS works and how to apply it to your blog. We'll cover everything from the very basics, to fancy tricks, to the best way to find the code you need for your very own blog. Get ready to advance your skill set!

Recently we introduced you to CSS. Within this post, we helped you learn what CSS stands for, what it can be used for, its basic structure, and more.  In this post, we're going to teach you how to write your own CSS and give you some examples for changes you can make to your own blog.

As we mentioned previously, when you write out CSS code, it's into two areas: the selector, which can be an Element, Class or ID; and then the property and property value. These are grouped together within a curly brackets set.

You may be thinking, "Well, what does this mean in plain English?" so we're going to break it down for you.  Remember, while you will need to be willing to learn a little bit of "techy" stuff to understand things like CSS, the support team is always here to help you and happy to give you a hand.

Breaking It Down

Let's take a look at a common CSS element - the p tag.  The p tag is used for the paragraphs within your posts.  This paragraph that you're reading, for instance, is created using a p tag.  Here's an example of a CSS statement:

p { font-size:10px; }

In this case, p (the paragraph tag) is the selector, font-size is the property (what you're changing about the text) and 10px is the property value (setting the font to 10 pixel).

You can also combine property values, like font-size and color.  Here's the CSS code that you would use to change the font to 10 pixel and set its color to black.  You'd use this:

p { font-size:10px; color:#000000; }

Now all parapgraph tags would be set to this size and this color.  There's no need to individually change paragraphs; you set it once and you're done!  That's the beauty of CSS.

CSS isn't just used for fonts, though.  It can change a multitude of elements on your blog.  For instance, to add a color to your blog's background, you'd use the following:

body { background:#fdd0a6; }

Again, you've got the selector (body) the property (background), and the property value (#fdd0a6).

Some of the attributes you can change are as follows:

  • margins
  • padding
  • borders
  • alignment
  • text-decoration (underlining, overlining, etc.)
  • text-transform (uppercase, lowercase, capitalize)

And many more!

Our CSS Cookbook is a great place to get ideas of even more changes you can make to your blog.  Our Tips and Tricks category also has more great CSS to try out on your blog. And don't forget - we're here to help!

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