Want to Be Your Own Webmaster, Learn CSS

In the business of Web support and maintenance I regularly talk with people that just need a little help. They aren’t looking to develop a new app, launch a new service or even to fully redesign their site. All these people want is the side bar widget to look just a little bit differently, to change the font or typeface styles, or add some color to headings.

No Shame in Being a Point and Click ‘Developer’

One of the greatest advantages that systems like WordPress give us is the toolset for non-technical people to manage and even build their own seemly complex Web presences without programming knowledge. I say there is no shame in this, however I do caveat that with the point that nothing but trouble comes when a ‘point and click developer’ sells others on the fact they ‘develop’ Websites professionally (see my post:  The Point and Click Developer).

There Are Limits of The Point and Click Method

Despite the flexibility these modern systems give us, there is always a limit to where the point and clicking stops and the need to understand some programming (at least the basics) begins. The first limit is typically style elements and these are almost always controlled by the stylesheet written with CSS. Learning the basics of CSS will allow anyone to take the next step beyond point and click and start to really customize their site. Many systems, such as some WordPress themes, allow you to make CSS edits in the administrative interface, making it so you don’t even have to deal with moving files back and forth between your computer and the server.

So You Want to Be Your Own Webmaster

Fair enough. I highly recommend that you learn the basics of CSS, a Google search should start you off the right path. Learning CSS will not make you a Web developer or designer but it will empower you to conquer the first, and most common, hurdle of controlling the look and feel of your Website.

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