As the leading content management system, WordPress offers plenty of tools to help you create a compelling and attractive website. However, you might need more than just what’s already on the platform to truly make your website stand out. That’s where tools like CSS come in. So, what is CSS?

🤹 CSS – Cascading Style Sheets – is a web design language that allows you to customize your website and more! But how do you use it on your web pages? Here’s a helpful guide to help you get started.

What is CSS? A brief overview

If you’re an absolute beginner in CSS, then you’ll want to first learn the language that WordPress and most other CMS platforms use: Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). This code tells browsers about the elements on your website so that it can be displayed on your screen. However, HTML is unwieldy. It takes a lot of effort to customize your website’s appearance.

Thankfully, CSS makes all this easier. This language dictates how HTML elements will appear on your website, including:

  • Font Size and Color
  • Layout of Widgets
  • Background Colors

In a nutshell, CSS allows you to override the current styles of your theme and maximize customization.

Basic example of CSS

The CSS language, at the most basic level, is composed of several parts:

  • Selector: Determines which HTML tag to style.
  • Property: The style or behavior of the HTML tag.
  • Value: What defines the change in the property.

For example, here is a CSS block:

h2 {
color: green;

The h2 is the element that you want changed – a second level heading, in this case. Color is the property that you want to modify, which is, let’s say, currently black. By defining the value as green, you’ll be able to change the font color to green.

How to use CSS in WordPress

Our first advice is not to add your CSS blocks on the style sheet. If you make a mistake here, it might get overwritten when you update your theme. That means the change will no longer appear. There is an easier, more intuitive way: the Additional CSS option in the WordPress Customizer.

Access this section by going to Appearance and clicking Customize. Find the Additional CSS section, and a text field will appear on the left side of your screen. This is where you can add the CSS blocks. You can see the changes happening in real time on the right side:

The CSS section in the WordPress Customizer.

👉 For more comprehensive step-by-step instructions, check out our deep dive into how to use CSS in WordPress.

Final thoughts on what is CSS 🏁

What is CSS? CSS is one of the most powerful languages for web design, being able to override your HTML themes for more customized content, appearance, and layout. Its code consists of several parts, including the selector, property, and value – elements that you can modify to produce the desired effect.

When you’re using CSS to personalize the appearance of your website, consider the following tips for effective and efficient execution:

  • Use the Additional CSS section of the Customizer instead of adding code blocks in the style sheet.
  • Familiarize yourself with CSS elements and which ones you can modify.
  • Research the basics of CSS for WordPress.

It will take time ⏳ to understand the complexities of CSS and use it effectively. However, once you’ve mastered the language, you gain more control over your website.

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