Best Practices in CSS - Startxlabs

Best Practices in CSS

13 Apr 2022

CSS stands for Cascading style sheet that is used to style and layout web pages. For example, you can use CSS to change your font size, color, family, etc. To use CSS like a pro, you must follow some tricks to keep your code clean and optimized. Whether you are an expert or a beginner you must follow these steps that are best for your website design.


1. Organized code

You don’t need to put all of your CSS in one file unless you’re going to use it. If a user arrives at the home page, only the styles for that page should be included. Essential styles are the ones that the user sees after the page loads, while non-essential styles are those that have been concealed, such as dialogue, snack bars, and notifications. Elements or components that must be activated by the user.

Maintain a sense of order. Instead of throwing in ids and classes in whatever sequence that comes to mind, use a logical framework. It will assist you in remembering the cascading aspect of CSS, which allows you to use style inheritance in your stylesheets.


2. Top-Down approach

It’s always a good idea to organize your CSS so that you can find parts of your code easily. A top-down approach that addresses styles as they arise in the source code is what I recommend.

The readability of your CSS is crucial, despite the fact that most users don’t realize why. Because you’ll be able to identify elements faster if your CSS is well-read, it will be a lot easier to maintain in the future. Furthermore, you never know who might need to look at your code in the future.


3. Lazy Loading

There are various ways to lazy load CSS, but using bundlers like WebPack and experimenting with dynamic import makes it a lot easier. You can make your own Javascript CSS loader or use the <link> tag to delay non-critical CSS when including stylesheets in your website.

Images and iframes can both benefit from lazy loading. This image or iframe should not be loaded until it is visible in the viewport.”


4. Shorthand CSS

You may wish to specify padding-top or border-right at times, but I’ve found that I frequently return to these to add more, so I’ve adopted the habit of always using the shorthand to make it easy to update without providing many attributes. It’s simpler to alter and has fewer lines of code.

When writing CSS, you can significantly reduce the size of your code by using shorthand. You can mix styles in one line for elements like padding, margin, font, and others. A div, for example, may contain the following styles:

#box {

    margin-left: 5px;

    margin-right:   7px;

    margin-top: 8px;


It can be written as


    margin: 8px 7px 0px 5px;



5. Utility Classes

If you frequently utilize the same tricks or styles, make them into class utils that can be applied directly to the HTML element. These are things like a center with display flex or grid for me, so I make a class called .center-flex and a class called .center-grid. To automate these repetitious style combinations, use class utilities.


6. Consistent code

The importance of consistency cannot be overstated. Even if you’re doing everything wrong, stick with it because it’ll be easier to correct afterward. Adopt a CSS approach, organize styles in the same way, establish how many levels you nest selectors, and so on. Define your personal style and stick to it, refining it through time.

Making sure your CSS is consistent goes hand in hand with keeping your code readable. You should start creating your own CSS “sub-language” that allows you to label things easily. There are certain classes that are created nearly in every theme, and you can call them by the same name every time. For example, use .caption-left to float images with a caption to the left.


7. Preprocessors

A preprocessor goes through your raw files and turns them into a stylesheet. CSS preprocessors enable you to write less CSS in a more efficient and effective manner. They’re jam-packed with tools and features that will help you manage your CSS, avoid duplication, and modularize it. Using a preprocessor such as LESS or SASS aids in the creation of clean code.


8. Avoid Inline CSS

Only the use of the !important flag can overwrite an inline style, and as you’ll see in the next block, the !important flag can be problematic, even though inline styles require it. A further reason to avoid them is that you included an external stylesheet for a reason, and that reason is to keep style and structure distinct (HTML). There are exceptions, but if you have a style in your external stylesheets, a style in HTML, or a style in Javascript, it becomes difficult to track what is causing the change, and it becomes difficult to manage as the codebase increases.

Content and presentation are mixed up when inline styles are used. Inline styles are just as terrible as relying on strictly appearance HTML elements like the font. It results in clumsy code, as each HTML file must be modified individually in the event of a style change, rather than a single global modification in a single external stylesheet.


9. Avoid !important

You’ll need to add the !important flag if you’re using Bootstrap and actually want to replace a style, but why are you using Bootstrap in the first place? If you find yourself needing to utilize the !important flag, it’s usually a hint that something is wrong. You might be using a difficult-to-overwrite third-party library; you might be using inline styles; you might be using selectors that are too particular; you might have a CSS hierarchy or order issue, or you should try to grasp how CSS specificity is computed.

However, you should avoid doing so because using !important with a large number of elements will eventually result in !important losing its meaning. Because every CSS rule now bypasses selector specificity.


10. Relative Units

You should make an effort to use relative units more frequently. Words like em, rem, percent, vw, vh, fr, and so on. Although there are occasions where these value units are required, setting fixed values with px and pt should be reserved for static design. Your website and units should be flexible, much like the browser.

Ems is more scalable with different browser screens and mobile devices than pixels, which are a more static means to describe font sizes. With the rise of multiple forms of online browsing (laptop, mobile, etc. ), ems and rems are gradually becoming the standard for font size measures since they provide the most versatility.



Comments are the most integral part of all programming, markup, and scripting language. Commenting is beneficial; use it! Add a comment if you develop difficult hacks or find scenarios when something works but you don’t understand why. Add comments for complicated items, organize your CSS, assist others to understand your reasoning and plan, and help you make sense of your mess when you return to it later.

Simply type /* behind the comment and */ to close it, as shown below:

/* This is a CSS Comment */


12. Reset CSS

Every browser has a different default style for the elements, so it’s possible that your object will look one way in one browser and another, or that it will have an extra border or shape that you weren’t anticipating. By resetting or normalizing your CSS, you can expedite these processes and ensure that your style looks consistent across all browsers. Browser inconsistencies such as heights, font sizes, margins, and headings are essentially eliminated when you reset your browser. The reset ensures that your layout is consistent across all browsers.


13. CSS Compressors

CSS compressors reduce the size of CSS files by eliminating line breaks, white spaces, and merging elements. This combination can significantly reduce file size, resulting in faster browser loading. CSS Minifier and HTML Compressor are two great online CSS compression tools. It’s worth noting that while reducing the size of your CSS can improve efficiency, it also reduces readability.


14. Browser Developer tools

Modern web browsers include a number of essential features that any web developer should have. All of the major browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge, now provide these development tools. You may visually inspect, alter, and edit CSS in real-time using the Chrome and Firefox developer tools, which include features like debugging JavaScript, evaluating HTML, and viewing errors.


15. Validate your CSS
Validating your CSS gives you more than a sense of accomplishment: it also aids in the detection of flaws in your code. If anything doesn’t appear right when you’re working on a design, try running the markup and CSS validator to see what issues come up. Usually, you’ll discover that you neglected to close a div or that a semicolon in a CSS attribute was missing.



This concludes our CSS  Best Practices Guide. Understanding, writing, and organizing CSS is an art form. No one can become a better CSS writer overnight; it takes time and effort. These have been quite beneficial to me in my CSS adventure, and I am confident that they will be beneficial to you as well. 


Startxlabs, one of India’s top digital transformation service providers. Launched in 2014, Startxlabs aims in innovating a digital future by developing technology for the web and mobile platforms. From our beginning as a technology development company, we’ve tried to stay true to our core beliefs and to deliver exceptional services to our clients. Whether it’s people we work for or people who work for us, we value honesty, passion, and the desire to explore. We have expertise in website development, android app development, iOS app development, Flutter, React Native app development, UI/UX design, and marketing strategy. With the engagement of our highly technical team, we have delivered over 110+ projects providing a positive impact on the users.

Author: Vaishnavi Mall

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