How many times have you wished there was simply more hours to the day? Are you feeling like you’re never capable of producing CSS development of stylesheets in a timely fashion? Maybe it’s not because you’re simply a slow programmer. Have you considered the main reason for your sluggish development isn’t your skill, but your methodology?
While every programmer has their unique method when it comes to crafting effective and optimized CSS stylesheets, even some of the best in the industry need work on their efficiency. Unlike other elements in life, expediting efficiency and productivity doesn’t mean sacrificing quality. In order to achieve optimum development productivity, while sustaining quality and optimization, there are several tips proven by industry leaders to cut development time without degrading code quality. Let’s explore a few of these tips, and afterwards, you’ll be one step closer to achieving that status of Master CSS Coder!
Tip #1 | Use Shorthand Whenever Possible
Shorthand is more than a technique used by stenographers and court reporters. Within the realm of CSS development, you can use shorthand to streamline basic coding, which allows you to spend more time on more complex visual design elements.
The most common shorthand used in CSS include streamlining margin declarations. Rather than writing top, right, bottom and left margin declarations, simply combine all the margin padding declarations into a single line of code, such as: “margin: 10px 8px 15px 10px” – this would translate to the margin padding rendering as: 10px (top), 8px (right), 15px (bottom), 10px (left).
You may also use shorthand for fonts, outlines and transitions. Spend time researching and refining your use of CSS development shorthand. While this technique has a learning curve, it’s worth your time to develop.
Tip #2 | Frameworks for the Win!
Do you have a complex web project? Are you relatively new to CSS coding, but wish to cultivate a powerful and visually dynamic site? There’s no shame in calling upon the efficiency and potential of CSS frameworks, such as Bootstrap.
Essentially, a CSS Framework is a shell development. This means the main stylesheet and declarations are already created. You simply build off of what’s been previously written. While you may feel frameworks may reduce customization and individuality, the truth is actually quite opposite. You’re not only able to refine and alter existing declarations, but you can do so without having to spend the time to code and debug. This results in a much faster workflow for swifter development.
Tip #3 | Readability is Key for Speed
How do you write your CSS code? Are you using a standard text processor? While you can still write code with even a basic text editor, this actually makes your job harder. Rather than force a word processor to do the job, turn to the syntax highlighting capabilities of a CSS-specific text editor, such as Sublime Text.
This not only streamlines your workflow as you’re working within a platform built to support CSS development, but the syntax=specific highlighting function allows for faster development. You’ll be surprised how much faster and easier writing and debugging is when you start using a coding processor.