Even if you’re unfamiliar with the term itself, CSS is a website coding component that any internet user has experienced.
While you may not know exactly what CSS is, it’s something to embrace – CSS immeasurably enriches the online ecosystem.
Here’s everything you should know about how CSS works, its advantages, and why it’s important.
What is CSS?
CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, is a coding language used to add colors, layouts, and fonts to a website.
If you were a user in the early stages of the internet, your initial impression of website design may have been quite underwhelming. That’s because CSS wasn’t being used by browsers until 1996.
CSS isn’t the content of a website, but its visual presentation. Think of it this way: CSS is the style, and HTML is the substance.
HTML serves as a site’s foundation by coding all the content you’re there to consume, but without CSS, the website would be only a bare-bones jumble of words and images.
Types of CSS styles
Internal CSS: Also known as the “embedded” style, Internal CSS requires coding the CSS < style > tag in the < head > section of each page you’re coding – the style won’t be applied to an entire website. There are advantages though, as you’ll also be creating a self-contained, easily previewable template for sharing.
External CSS: This is often considered the easiest method for long-term website maintenance. All your CSS coding is done in a separate CSS file, then applied to any page you want. Site loading times might also benefit from the external style.
Inline CSS: This style is slightly more intensive for coders, requiring each individual HTML tag to be styled. This can also be handy for minor changes and quick previews of modifications.
Benefits of CSS
The coding language of CSS is straightforward, but customizable to an enormous degree.
Formatting via CSS makes websites easier to navigate by placing buttons in logical places that make them more likely to get clicks.
CSS can also eliminate having to use as many lines of code, which allows faster page loading.
The responsive design elements of CSS make the language suitable for presentation on any size screen, from a mobile phone to a desktop.
Why CSS is important
CSS created a unified standard for designing web pages that makes the process more accessible.
It’s probably best known for its user-friendliness – a coding language that no one has to be intimidated by.
With CSS, an impeccable-looking website can be achieved without hiring an expert coder.
The Twitter ban for @RealDonaldTrump was said to be permanent. Facebook has been wrestling with letting the former president back onto its platform. The company said earlier this month that it plans to revisit the decision in six months.
His blog had about 212,0000 engagements during its first week online, notably fewer than some of his most popular tweets.
Earlier this month, Peter Loge, an associate professor at George Washington University, told Insider’s Thomas Colson that “Trump is just shouting into the void.”
Loge added: “He isn’t letting anyone shout back. Shouting at people is a less effective way to maintain celebrity status and keep selling new merchandise than finding ways to create the illusion of interaction is.”
Trump’s blog states that it’s paid for by Save America, a joint fundraising committee paid for by political action committees Save America and Make America Great Again.
If you’re starting a business, launching a website, or publishing a blog, you might be in need of your own domain, like www.your-domain-name.com.
Having your own domain makes it easier for people to find you and makes you seem more professional and credible. It also affords you the opportunity to have an email address that’s built on your custom domain rather than having a free Gmail account.
A 403 “forbidden” error sounds more threatening than it is.
This type of error happens when a web server doesn’t allow you to access a webpage. You can’t always fix these sorts of errors, but if you can, the solutions are pretty simple.
Here’s everything you need to know about why these errors happen and what to do if you encounter one.
The most common causes for 403 errors
403 errors occur for a single reason: You’re trying to access a webpage that you don’t have permission to see. Consider it a sister to the 404 error, which means the page simply doesn’t exist.
This isn’t any sort of grand conspiracy. Every website has pages that aren’t open to the public – these are usually spots for the site owners to test new features, or edit other parts of the site.
For example, Insider has pages that are used to edit the text and pictures in a story. People who don’t work at Insider don’t have access to these pages, because if they did, anyone could edit or erase any story at any time.
In most cases, if you’ve hit a 403 error, the solution is to just move on. But if you’re seeing 403 errors on pages that you know you should have permission to see, there’s a deeper issue.
How to troubleshoot a 403 error
Not all 403 errors can be fixed, and not all errors can be fixed by yourself – you might need help from the site’s administrator.
Web scraping is the name given to the process of extracting structured data from third-party websites. In other words, it’s a way to capture specific information from one or more websites without also copying unwanted or unrelated information. It’s a common practice that has a lot of potential applications and a murky legal profile.
What to know about web scraping
Web scraping is usually an automated process, but it doesn’t have to be; data can be scraped from websites manually, by humans, though that’s slow and inefficient. More commonly, scraping is performed by software designed specifically for this application, generally in two main components. A crawler is a program that browses the internet and indexes the content of interest, and it passes this information onto the scraper.
The scraper is designed to locate the relevant structured information using markers called data locators. These locators indicate the presence of the data, which the scraper then extracts and stores offline in a spreadsheet or database for processing or analysis.
One simple example of web scraping: Consider a website that aggregates pricing information for retail products so shoppers can see which retailers have the best prices. A scraper can be programmed to index the product pages at every major retailer, with the scraper then visiting each page and using data locators to zero in just on the price field and ignore all the other data on the page – product description, reviews, and so on. The scraper can be run daily to update the webpage with the latest pricing information from around the web.
How web scraping is used
Because there is an enormous variety of data online, there is a wide variety of applications for web scraping. Here are some of the most common uses:
Price intelligence: Like the example above, many web scrapers are designed to monitor prices from retail sites. Retailers might use this to monitor prices at competitor sites, or the data might be used for competitive analysis, monitoring trends, or as a service to other users.
Real estate: Similarly, web scrapers commonly target real estate sites to monitor rental and sale prices, appraise property values in a given region, and conduct market analysis.
Lead generation: Marketers commonly use web scraping to generate leads by scraping structured data from websites like LinkedIn.
Sentiment analysis: Brands even use web scraping to understand how their products and services are being talked about online. Companies can collect data that mentions their name from social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
The legality of web scraping
There’s no easy answer to the question of web scraping’s legality. This technology has had a number of legal challenges dating back to 2000, when online auction site eBay filed an injunction (which was granted by the court) against a site called Bidder’s Edge for scraping its auction data.
Lately, you may have heard about a new platform called Carrd. Simply put, Carrd is a website-building platform, much like Squarespace or WordPress. The big difference between Carrd and other sites, though, is that Carrd is optimized to create simple, one-page websites, which makes it much easier to use.
People often use Carrd to display their portfolio, or promote a cause that’s important to them.
What you need to know about Carrd
There are myriad uses for small websites. Carrd suggests a handful of website types, which are helpfully arranged in different layout templates. They include:
Profile – Good for making a personal information page to tell others about yourself, likely to market yourself to employers or collaborators.
Landing – For things like products, services, apps, and the like. Landing pages make it easy to explain what something is, how it works, and where to get it.
Forms – Good for businesses interacting with current or potential customers. Forms can do things like collect emails, conduct surveys, etc.
Portfolio – Sort of like a profile, but specifically for visual artists, as it’s meant to show off art and graphics.
Sectioned – These Carrds are different from the other categories. They’re like a halfway point between a one-page website and a site with multiple pages. They’re still one page, but they’re sectioned off into different categories – perfect for people looking to disseminate information on a topic, especially a complex one.
On top of these uses, many people have been using Carrd for other things. For example, some writers use it to help outline their stories, using the Sectioned format to help them keep track of characters, world-building elements, plot points, and more.
One popular use of the Sectioned layout is for online activists to raise awareness and spread information about causes, such as the Carrd site for Black Lives Matter. These sites often include donation buttons or links to organizations that help these causes.
The possible uses of Carrd are limited only by the imagination, and the site is very easy to use. If you’re interested in creating a Carrd yourself, and want to find out more, check out our article on how to make a Carrd.