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How to Add CSS Styles to Your HTML Code: Tips & Tricks

Last Updated on September 11, 2023


Incorporating CSS styles into HTML code is essential for attractive, user-friendly websites. CSS improves design, engagement, and professionalism.

Integrating CSS styles into HTML code separates presentation from structure, enabling design changes without impacting the HTML structure.

CSS also enables you to create consistent styles across multiple pages, saving time and effort in the long run.

This blog explores effective CSS styling in HTML. Topics include CSS rule creation, element selection, using classes and IDs, inline styles, external style sheets, and code organization.

Furthermore, we will examine how to add CSS to different elements such as text, backgrounds, and borders, as well as how to use CSS to control spacing, alignment, and responsiveness.

We’ll touch on the concept of CSS precedence and provide insights on troubleshooting common CSS issues.

By the end of this post, you’ll learn how to add CSS styles to your HTML code, empowering you to craft visually striking websites that captivate users.

What is CSS?

CSS, short for Cascading Style Sheets, empowers web designers to control the visual aspects of HTML code, enhancing website aesthetics.

It describes HTML document formatting, separating content from presentation for efficient maintenance and updates. CSS sets rules to define HTML element display properties.

CSS plays a significant role in web design, granting designers complete control over website aesthetics. It customizes layout, colors, fonts, and more, ensuring consistency and visual appeal in HTML code.

Multiple methods exist to add CSS styles to HTML. You can include CSS within HTML using the “style” tag, ideal for minor changes or specific element styling.

To add CSS styles, link an external CSS file to HTML, recommended for large projects to separate style and structure. Use the “link” tag, specifying the CSS file location in the “href” attribute.

To write CSS styles effectively, grasp selectors and properties. Selectors target HTML elements, while properties define their appearances, like color and font size.

To apply styles, select elements and specify properties. For instance, to change the heading color, use the “h1” selector with a color property.

CSS employs classes and IDs for versatile styling—classes for multiple elements, and IDs for specifics. Assigning them in HTML ensures uniform styles.

Responsive web design is attainable with CSS and media queries, adapting layouts to screen sizes and ensuring mobile-friendliness.

CSS is pivotal in web design, enabling HTML customization and appealing layouts. Understanding CSS techniques fosters website creation, beauty, and functionality.

Inline CSS

Inline CSS is a useful technique for adding CSS styles directly to HTML elements. It involves adding CSS styles directly into the HTML elements using the style attribute.

To apply inline CSS, we need to add the CSS style attribute to an HTML element and specify the desired properties and values.

A. Advantages of Inline CSS

  1. Specificity: Inline CSS has the highest level of specificity, meaning it overrides external and internal stylesheets.

  2. Easy to Understand: With inline CSS, we can see which styles are applied to a specific element.

  3. Quick Changes: Inline CSS allows us to make quick changes to specific elements without affecting the entire website.

B. Disadvantages of Inline CSS

  1. Maintenance: Since inline CSS is applied to individual elements, it can become difficult to maintain and update styles across multiple pages.

  2. Reusability: Inline CSS is not reusable. If we want to apply the same styles to multiple elements, we need to duplicate the code.

  3. Code Clutter: Adding inline styles to every element can make the HTML code cluttered and harder to read.

C. Examples and syntax

1. Changing font color:

Hello, World!

This will change the color of the heading text to blue.

2. Setting background color:

<div style="background-color; yellow;">This is a yellow box!</div>

The div element will have a yellow background color.

3. Modifying font size:

<p style= “font-size: 18px”> This paragraph has a font size of 18 pixels.</p>

The font size of the paragraph will be set to 18 pixels.

4. Adjusting margins:

The image will have a top margin of 10 pixels and a bottom margin of 20 pixels.

5. Changing text alignment:

This paragraph is centered.

The paragraph text will be horizontally centered.

To sum it up, inline CSS allows us to add CSS styles directly to HTML elements.

It has advantages such as high specificity and quick changes, but also drawbacks like difficulty in maintenance and lack of reusability.

Understanding its definition, how it works, and its advantages and disadvantages will help us utilize inline CSS effectively while developing websites.

Read: HTML5 vs HTML: What’s the Difference and Why It Matters

Internal CSS

Internal CSS refers to the use of CSS styles within the HTML code itself. It allows you to define and apply styles directly to specific elements on a web page.

By embedding CSS styles within HTML code, you can control the presentation and layout of your web page without the need for an external style sheet.

One advantage of using internal CSS is that it keeps all the code in one place, making it easier to manage and maintain. You don’t have to switch between multiple files to make changes to your styles.

Additionally, internal CSS is ideal for small-scale projects or individual web pages where you don’t need to reuse styles across multiple pages.

On the downside, internal CSS can become cumbersome and messy when dealing with larger projects or websites with multiple pages.

If you have many pages with similar layouts, it becomes inefficient to duplicate the CSS code for each page.

Furthermore, if you want to make changes to the styles across all pages, you would need to edit each HTML file individually, leading to redundancy and potential errors.

To write internal CSS, you need to use the “ tag within the HTML code.

Inside the opening and closing tags of the `&lt;/p> &lt;style>` element, you can define your CSS rules. For example:&lt;/p> &lt;p>“`&lt;br />&lt;html>&lt;br />&lt;head>&lt;/p> &lt;style> body {&lt;br /> background-color: #f4f4f4;&lt;br /> font-family: Arial, sans-serif;&lt;br /> color: #333;&lt;br /> }&lt;/p> &lt;p> h1 {&lt;br /> color: #e63946;&lt;br /> }&lt;/p> &lt;p> .container {&lt;br /> width: 80%;&lt;br /> margin: 0 auto;&lt;br /> }&lt;br />

Welcome to my Website

This is an example of internal CSS.


In this example, we define styles for the “ element, “ headings, and a CSS class named `container`. The styles are then applied to specific elements within the HTML code.

Internal CSS provides a convenient way to quickly style HTML elements within a single file.

However, for larger projects or websites with multiple pages, it is recommended to use external CSS stylesheets that can be linked to each HTML file.

This ensures consistency, ease of maintenance, and efficient use of resources.

In summary, internal CSS allows you to define and apply styles directly within the HTML code. It is useful for small-scale projects or individual web pages but can become cumbersome for larger projects.

While internal CSS has its advantages and disadvantages, it provides a quick and easy way to style elements within an HTML file.

Read: The Benefits of Gamified Learning in Programming

External CSS

External CSS, a potent tool, enhances HTML code by linking an external CSS file to your document. This method brings several advantages.

Firstly, it separates website design from structure, enhancing code organization and maintenance ease. Additionally, updates become simpler as changes in the CSS file propagate across the entire website.

External CSS files may be cached by browsers, optimizing page loading times and improving user experiences.

Despite potential drawbacks, such as lost styling if the CSS file fails to load, providing a fallback style mitigates this issue.

Though external CSS may marginally increase page loading times due to additional HTTP requests, the advantages typically outweigh this concern.

To add external CSS to your HTML code, you need to create a separate CSS file with a .css extension. In the HTML document, you can link the CSS file by using the element within the section.

The element should include the rel attribute set to “stylesheet” and the href attribute specifying the path to the CSS file.

Here is an example of the syntax:


For optimal usage, ensure the CSS file, like “styles.css,” resides in the same directory as the HTML document. When they differ, specify the correct path for consistent styling across various HTML documents.

In summary, external CSS empowers HTML with code organization, easy updates, and enhanced page loading. Its benefits outweigh the drawbacks, making it a valuable skill for website design.

CSS Selectors

CSS selectors are an important aspect of adding styles to your HTML code. They allow you to target specific elements, classes, or IDs within your HTML document.

By understanding and utilizing these selectors, you can create visually appealing and well-organized web pages.

In this section, we will explore different types of selectors and provide examples for each type.

1. Element Selectors

The most basic type of CSS selector is the element selector. It targets elements based on their tag name. For example, to apply styles to all paragraphs in your HTML document, you can use the ‘p’ selector.

Similarly, to target all headings, you can use the ‘h1’ through ‘h6’ selectors. Here’s an example:

p {
color: blue;
font-size: 16px;

2. Class Selectors

Class selectors are used when you want to apply styles to specific elements that share a common class attribute.

To define a class in HTML, you use the ‘class’ attribute. In CSS, you target elements with a specific class using the ‘.’ (dot) notation.

Let’s say you have multiple elements with the class “highlight”. You can style them as follows:

.highlight {
background-color: yellow;
font-weight: bold;

3. ID Selectors

ID selectors are similar to class selectors, but they target elements with a unique ID attribute.

To define an ID in HTML, you use the ‘id’ attribute. In CSS, you target elements with a specific ID using the ‘#’ (hash) notation. Here’s an example:

#header {
background-color: gray;
height: 100px;

4. Combining Selectors

In addition to the basic selectors, you can also combine selectors to target specific elements within a hierarchy.

For example, you can use the ‘descendant selector’ to style only the paragraphs within a div:

div p {
color: red;

You can also use the ‘child selector’ to style only direct children of an element:

ul > li {
list-style-type: square;

Another useful selector is the ‘sibling selector’, which targets elements that share the same parent:

h2 + p {
font-style: italic;

5. Specificity

When multiple selectors apply to the same element, CSS determines the specificity to decide which styles to apply. ID selectors have the highest specificity, followed by class selectors, and finally, element selectors.

It is important to understand specificity to avoid conflicts and ensure proper styling.

Effective CSS selectors are vital for styling HTML. Utilize element, class, and ID selectors, combining when needed, and ensuring specificity to prevent conflicts.

Armed with these skills, you can enhance HTML’s visual appeal using CSS. Enjoy coding!

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How to Add CSS Styles to Your HTML Code: Tips & Tricks

CSS Properties and Values

CSS, also known as Cascading Style Sheets, is a powerful tool that allows web developers to control the appearance and layout of their HTML code.

By using CSS, you can add various styles to your HTML elements, such as colors, font sizes, margins, paddings, and more.

This section explores commonly used properties, and property-value pairs, and provides examples and syntax.

A. Commonly Used Properties

  1. Color: This property allows you to specify the color of text or background.

  2. Font size: You can use this property to set the size of the font.

  3. Margin: By using a margin, you can create space around an element.

  4. Padding: Padding helps to create space within an element, separating its content from the edges.

  5. Width: This property enables you to set the width of an element.

  6. Height: Similarly, height allows you to define the height of an element.

  7. Background color: This property sets the background color of an element.

  8. Border: By using the border property, you can create borders around an element.

B. Property-Value Pairs:

CSS properties are paired with values to define how the properties should be applied.

The property-value pairs are separated by a colon, and multiple pairs are separated by semicolons.

For example

h1 {
color: blue;
font-size: 24px;

In this example, “color” and “font-size” are properties, and “blue” and “24px” are the corresponding values.

Examples and Syntax:
To demonstrate the usage of CSS properties and values, let’s consider a simple example:

p {
color: red;
font-size: 18px;
margin: 10px;
padding: 5px;

This is a paragraph with CSS styles applied.

In the above example, the paragraph element is styled using CSS properties. The text color is set to red, font size to 18 pixels, margin to 10 pixels, and padding to 5 pixels.

CSS properties and values are not limited to the ones mentioned above. There are numerous other properties available that can be used to customize the appearance and layout of HTML elements.

It is essential to refer to the official CSS documentation or various online resources to explore more options.

In general, CSS properties and values are essential for styling HTML. Understanding common properties, their pairs, and syntax improves webpage aesthetics.

Experiment with different combinations of properties and values to create unique and eye-catching designs. With CSS, the possibilities are endless, and your HTML code can truly come to life.

CSS Box Model

The CSS Box Model is a fundamental concept that defines how elements are structured and displayed on a webpage.

It encompasses various components, including content, padding, border, and margin. Understanding the box model is crucial for creating visually appealing designs.

A. Definition and Components

  1. Content: The innermost part of an element, which holds the actual content, such as text, images, or videos. Its size is determined by the width and height properties.

  2. Padding: The space between the content and the border. Padding can be adjusted using the padding property, allowing you to create spacing and breathing room around the content.

  3. Border: The outer edge surrounding the content and padding. Borders can be customized using properties like border width, border color, and border style. They define the shape and appearance of an element.

  4. Margin: The space outside the border, creates a gap between adjacent elements. The margin can be altered using the margin property, controlling the distance between elements and their surroundings.

B. Box Model Concept

The box model visualizes how each element is structured, presenting it as a rectangular box. The content resides inside this box, surrounded by padding, border, and margin.

Understanding the concept helps in accurately positioning and styling elements within a webpage.

To calculate the total width of an element, you need to consider the content width, padding, and border on both sides.

Similarly, the total height includes the content height, padding, and the border on the top and bottom.

The margin doesn’t affect the total dimensions of an element but impacts its positioning relative to other elements.

C. Examples and Visuals

Let’s consider an example to better understand the CSS Box Model. Suppose you have a div element with a width of 300px and height of 200px.

You set a padding of 10px, a border of 2px solid black, and a margin of 20px.

In this case, the total width of the element would be 324px (300px content width + 2px left border + 2px right border + 10px left padding + 10px right padding).

The total height would be 244px (200px content height + 2px top border + 2px bottom border + 10px top padding + 10px bottom padding).

The margin would create a gap of 20px around the element, ensuring separation from other surrounding elements.

Visually, the box model can be represented as a layered structure. Starting from the innermost content layer, you have the padding layer, followed by the border layer, and finally, the margin layer.

CSS properties enable precise box model adjustments for layout and spacing. Tailoring content, padding, border, and margin creates appealing, well-aligned designs.

The CSS Box Model is crucial for web developers, allowing control over element structure, appearance, and positioning. Understand and use it effectively for appealing web pages.

CSS Preprocessors

Preprocessors are popular tools that can enhance how you write and manage CSS code.

They offer additional features such as variables, functions, and nesting, making CSS development more efficient.

One widely used preprocessor is LESS, while Sass has two syntax options: Sass and SCSS.

A. Advantages and disadvantages

Using preprocessors has several advantages.

First, they make CSS code more modular and reusable. By using variables, you can define values once and reuse them throughout your code, promoting consistency.

Second, preprocessors enable nesting, which allows you to write cleaner and more concise code. Lastly, preprocessors have built-in functions that can simplify complex calculations.

However, preprocessors also have some disadvantages. Since they introduce a new layer of complexity, there is a learning curve associated with using them.

Additionally, preprocessors require an extra step of compilation before the CSS code can be understood by web browsers. This extra step can slightly slow down the development process.

B. How to incorporate preprocessors into HTML code

To incorporate preprocessors into your HTML code, you first need to install the preprocessor of your choice. For LESS, you can use a plugin like Less.js or Prepros.

For Sass, you need to install Ruby and then install Sass through the command line. Once the preprocessor is installed, you can start writing your CSS code using the preprocessor’s syntax.

To link the preprocessor code to your HTML file, you need to add a link tag to the head section of your HTML document. This link tag should point to the compiled CSS file generated by the preprocessor.

Whenever you make changes to the preprocessor code, the CSS file will automatically update, eliminating the need to manually update the CSS file in your HTML.

In addition to linking the CSS file to your HTML, you can also use preprocessors within HTML tags.

For example, by adding a style attribute to an HTML tag and using the preprocessor’s syntax within the attribute, you can apply dynamic styles directly to specific elements.

CSS preprocessors, including LESS, Sass, and SCSS, bring modularity and efficiency. Despite a learning curve, they improve CSS code quality and development workflow.

Tips and Tricks for Effective CSS Styling in HTML

CSS is a powerful tool used to style and layout HTML documents. It allows you to control the visual appearance of your web pages, making them more engaging and visually appealing.

In this section, we will discuss some tips and tricks for effective CSS styling in HTML.

A. Use of CSS frameworks

CSS frameworks streamline HTML styling with pre-written code and classes for rapid element styling. They aid in responsive design.

Some popular CSS frameworks include Bootstrap, Foundation, and Bulma. By utilizing these frameworks, you can save time and ensure a consistent design across different devices.

B. Avoiding inline styles when possible

Inline styles are CSS styles applied directly to HTML elements using the style attribute. While this method may seem convenient, it can quickly become messy and hard to maintain, especially in larger projects.

It is generally recommended to separate your CSS code from your HTML structure. Instead, use external style sheets or embed your CSS code in the head section of your HTML document.

This approach promotes cleaner code and better organization.

C. Organizing and optimizing CSS code

When working with CSS, it is essential to organize and optimize your code for better maintainability and performance.

Effective use of CSS selectors targets specific HTML elements for styling. Use concise and specific selectors for cleaner, readable code.

Group related styles together for an organized stylesheet. This practice eases modification and clarity. Use comments for documentation.

C. Utilizing browser developer tools

Modern web browsers come equipped with developer tools that can immensely assist in CSS styling. These tools allow you to inspect HTML elements, modify styles in real time, and see the changes immediately.

By utilizing the browser developer tools, you can experiment and fine-tune your styles more efficiently. This hands-on approach saves time by eliminating trial-and-error cycles.

Basically, you can enhance the user experience by adding CSS styles to your HTML code.

Follow these tips: use frameworks, avoid inline styles, organize, optimize, and utilize developer tools.

Read: Mentor Insights: How to Dominate in Coding Wars Challenges


This blog covered key points on how to add CSS styles to your HTML Code. Follow these tips to improve websites.

Firstly, separate CSS and HTML using external style sheets for better organization, updates, and maintenance.

Next, utilize various selectors like element, class, and ID selectors to target HTML elements and apply styles.

Learn the different CSS properties such as color, font, margin, padding, and background properties for visual appeal.

Understand CSS positioning (static, relative, absolute, and fixed) for element placement control.

Lastly, prioritize responsive design using media queries for mobile-friendly layouts.

Practice and explore CSS styling. The more you practice, the better you become at creating appealing websites. Experiment and get creative!

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