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Difference between CSS and CSS3

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In web development, cascading style sheets (CSS) serve as the backbone for styling and formatting web pages. With the advent of CSS3, the evolution of styling techniques has reached new heights, introducing a plethora of features and capabilities. This blog aims to unravel the differences between traditional CSS and its modern counterpart, CSS3.

versions of css

What is CSS?

CSS, short for Cascading Style Sheets, is a fundamental technology used for styling and formatting web pages. It allows developers to control the presentation and layout of HTML elements, including fonts, colors, spacing, and positioning. By separating content from presentation, CSS enhances the flexibility and maintainability of web development projects.

Key CSS Features:

  • Selectors: Target HTML elements based on their type, class, ID, or relationship to other elements.
  • Cascading: Define styles hierarchically, with stylesheets cascading down from parent elements to child elements.
  • Box Model: Control the layout of elements by specifying their dimensions, padding, border, and margin.
  • Flexbox: A layout model that allows flexible alignment and distribution of elements within a container.
  • Grid Layout: A two-dimensional layout system for arranging elements in rows and columns.
  • Media Queries: Adapt styles based on the characteristics of the device, such as screen size, resolution, or orientation.
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What is CSS3?

CSS3 is the latest version of CSS, introducing new features and enhancements to the styling capabilities of web development. It builds upon the foundation of CSS, offering advanced techniques for creating visually appealing and responsive designs.

Key CSS3 Features:

  • Rounded Corners: Easily create rounded corners for elements using the border-radius property.
  • Transitions: Add smooth animations to element properties, such as color, size, or position changes.
  • Transformations: Apply 2D and 3D transformations, including rotations, scaling, and skewing, to elements.
  • Animations: Define complex animations with keyframes, allowing precise control over element motion and appearance.
  • Gradients: Create smooth transitions between colors using linear or radial gradients.
  • Shadows: Apply box shadows and text shadows to elements for added depth and visual effects.

What’s the Difference Between CSS and CSS3?

SelectorsBasic selectors: element, class, ID, etc.Advanced selectors: attribute, pseudo-elements, pseudo-classes, etc.
Rounded CornersNot directly supportedSupported using the border-radius property
TransitionsNot supportedSupported for smooth property changes
TransformationsNot supportedSupported for 2D and 3D transformations
AnimationsNot supportedSupported for defining complex animations
GradientsNot supportedSupported for smooth color transitions
ShadowsNot supportedSupported for adding depth to elements

Advantages of CSS3

  • Enhanced Styling Capabilities: CSS3 introduces advanced styling features such as gradients, shadows, transformations, and animations, allowing for more visually appealing and interactive web designs.
  • Improved Layout Options: With CSS3, developers can utilize flexible layout options like Flexbox and Grid Layout, enabling more efficient and responsive page layouts without relying heavily on floats or positioning hacks.
  • Simplified Coding: CSS3 offers shorthand properties and functions, reducing the amount of code needed to achieve certain styling effects, thus enhancing code readability and maintainability.
  • Better Compatibility and Browser Support: CSS3 is designed to be more compatible with modern web browsers, ensuring smoother rendering and consistent styling across different platforms and devices.
  • Media Queries for Responsive Design: CSS3 introduces Media Queries, allowing developers to apply different styles based on the characteristics of the device, such as screen size, resolution, or orientation, facilitating the creation of responsive and mobile-friendly websites.
  • Modular and Future-Proof: CSS3 is modular, meaning new features can be added independently of each other. This makes it easier for developers to adopt new features as they become available, ensuring that their code remains up-to-date and future-proof.
  • Performance Optimization: CSS3 offers improved performance through features like hardware acceleration for animations and transitions, resulting in smoother user experiences and reduced page load times.
  • Accessibility Enhancements: CSS3 provides better support for accessibility features, allowing developers to create websites that are more accessible to users with disabilities, such as improved text-to-speech rendering and better control over focus states.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between W3 CSS and CSS?

W3.CSS is a CSS framework developed by W3Schools, offering pre-designed styles and components for rapid web development. CSS, on the other hand, is the standard language used to style and format web pages.

What is the difference between HTML HTML5 CSS and CSS3?

HTML and CSS are fundamental web technologies for structuring and styling web pages, respectively. HTML5 is the latest version of HTML, introducing new features and enhancements, while CSS3 is the latest version of CSS, offering advanced styling capabilities and features.

How many types of CSS are used in HTML?

There are three types of CSS used in HTML:

  1. Inline CSS: Applied directly to individual HTML elements using the style attribute.
  2. Internal CSS: Defined within the <style> tag in the <head> section of the HTML document.
  3. External CSS: Linked to the HTML document using the <link> tag, allowing for separation of content and presentation.

Which CSS is best for HTML?

The best type of CSS for HTML depends on the specific requirements of the project and the developer's preferences. However, external CSS is commonly preferred for its ability to separate styling from content, promoting code organization and reusability.


In this blog, we discussed Difference between CSS and CSS3. The evolution from CSS to CSS3 marks a significant advancement in web styling techniques. While CSS laid the foundation for web styling, CSS3 introduced a plethora of new features and enhancements, empowering developers to create more visually appealing, interactive, and responsive web experiences.

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