Difference Between CSS and CSS3

21 October 2020 Posted by Aman Pachisia 12 Min Read

Key Difference Between CSS and CSS3

CSS stands for cascading style sheet. The main function of Cascading Style Sheets is very important. Where CSS works stable with HTML and adds the basic style and appearance and this will let us know that HTML elements will look on the web page. Where CSS3 is the latest version of CSS. CSS3 gives capabilities like JavaScript and also gives mobile development features with other additional features like transitions, gradient, etc. So, let’s compare CSS and CSS3 on these parameters.

CSS3 is the latest version of CSS with the main motive was to focus on providing various formatting features. They were in addition to capabilities for the position of text and objects. But these features have been updated to the latest version that is CSS3. At the time when CSS3 was launched, the developers used to design images that would look like rounded corners to different structures and background gradient. This action includes the developer designing the particular border and uploading the design over the server. They need to place the image on the webpage and in the end, CSS has to position this border correctly.

What is CSS?

A very important constituent of web development and that is cascading style sheet or CSS in short. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a style sheet language used for describing the presentation of a document written in a markup language such as HTML. CSS is a cornerstone technology of the World Wide Web, alongside HTML and JavaScript. CSS is independent of HTML and can be used with any XML-based markup language. The partition of HTML from CSS makes it easier to maintain sites, share style sheets across pages, and tailor pages to different environments. This is referred to as the partition of structure from the presentation.

CSS is created to enable the partition of presentation and content, including layout, colors, and fonts. This partition can improve content accessibility, provide more flexibility and control in the specification of presentation characteristics, enable multiple web pages to share formatting by specifying the relevant CSS in a separate .css file which reduces complication and repetition in the structural content as well as enabling the .css file to be cached to improve the page load speed between the pages that share the file and its formatting.

What is CSS3?

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a language that is used to clarify the look, style, and format of a document written in any markup language. In simple words, it is used to style and organize the layout of Web pages. CSS3 is the latest version of an earlier CSS version, CSS2.

An important change in CSS3 in comparison to CSS2 is the introduction of modules. The benefit of this functionality is that it allows the specification to be finalized and accept faster, as segments are finalized and accepted in portions. Also, this allows the browser to support segments of the specification.

Types of CSS

  • Inline CSS: Internal or embedded CSS requires you to add <style> tag in the <head> section of your HTML document.
  • Internal or Embedded CSS: With external CSS, you’ll link your web pages to an external .css file, which can be created by any text editor on your device.
  • External CSS: Inline CSS is used to style a specific HTML element. For this CSS style, you’ll only need to add the style attribute to each HTML tag, without using selectors.

Features of CSS3

CSS3 announce several new elements and attributes that can help you in building modern websites. Here is a set of some of the most prominent features introduced in CSS3.

  • Selectors: Selectors allow the designer to select on more actual levels of the web page. They are structural pseudo-classes that perform limited matches to help match attribute and attribute values. New selectors target a pseudo-class to style the elements targeted in the URL. Selectors also include a checked pseudo-class to style checked elements such as checkboxes and radio buttons.
  • Text Effects and Layout: With CSS3, we can change the argument of the text, whitespace adjustment of the document, and also style the hyphenation of words.
  • First-Letter and First-Line Pseudo-Classes: CSS3 includes properties that help with kerning (adjusting the spacing between characters to achieve a visually pleasing effect) and with the positioning of drop-caps (large decorative capital letter at the starting of a paragraph).
  • Paged Media and Generated Content: CSS3 has additional choices in paged media, such as page numbers and running headers and footers. There are added properties for printing generated content as well, like properties for cross-references and footnotes.
  • Multi-Column Layout: This feature includes properties to allow designers to present their content in multiple columns with options like the column-count, column-gap, and column-width.

Some of the key modules of CSS3 are:

  • Box model
  • Image values and replaced content
  • Text effects
  • Selectors/ Combinators
  • Backgrounds and borders
  • Animations
  • Transitions
  • User interface (UI)
  • Multiple column layouts
  • 2D/3D Transformations

Advantages of CSS3

  • CSS saves time: You can create CSS once and then reuse the same sheet in multiple HTML pages. You can define a style for each HTML element and apply it to as many Web pages as you want.
  • Pages load faster: If you are using CSS, you do not need to write HTML tag attributes every time. Just write one CSS rule of a tag and apply it to all the existence of that tag. So less code means faster download times.
  • Easy maintenance: To make a global change, simply change the style, and all elements in all the web pages will be updated automatically.
  • Superior styles to HTML: CSS has a much wider array of attributes than HTML, so you can give a far better look to your HTML page in comparison to HTML attributes.
  • Multiple Device Compatibility: Style sheets allow content to be optimized for more than one type of device. By using the same HTML document, different versions of a website can be presented for handheld devices such as PDAs and cell phones or for printing.
  • Global web standards: Now HTML attributes are being deprecated and it is being recommended to use CSS. So it's a good idea to start using CSS in all the HTML pages to make them compatible with future browsers.

Comparison Between CSS and CSS3


The primary purpose of CSS was to focus on formatting features. They have power for positioning texts and objects. CSS is backward consistent with CSS3. When CSS3 code is written in CSS, it is invalid. CSS3 makes the Web Pages more attractive. It takes less time to create a page.
CSS does not support responsive design. CSS3 is the latest version and supports responsive design.
CSS is not divided into modules. CSS3 could split into modules.
In CSS, animations are written in JavaScript and JQuery. It has not to design layer features and page elements. It had no special effects such as shadowing text, text animation, etc. In CSS3, the developer adds text-shadows to make it easy and effective. They add words for the visual effects of the break line and a comfortable fit inside the column. It changes the size and color of the text.
When CSS3 was launched, the developers designed some images that looked like the rounded corners with the structures and backgrounds. Developers are designing a border and uploading the design to the server. In CSS3 the developer writes the code like: .Round-Border {border-radius: 20px}. They have not been sent by any server and perform any other activities. Gradients will also be set by using the code which is given below: .BG-Color {Background:linear-gradient(red,black);}
CSS cannot produce 3D animation and transformation. In CSS3, the animation and 3D transformations are used. Elements are moved across the screen with the assistance of JavaScript and flash. By using the elements, also be ready to change the size and color. All kinds of transformations and animations are performed by using CSS3.
CSS is slower. CSS3 is faster than CSS.
CSS provides unique color schemas and standard colors. CSS3 supports HSL RGBA, HSLA, and gradient colors.
Multi-column text blocks are defined in CSS3. CSS supports single text blocks.

Need of CSS3

CSS3 is used with HTML to create and format content design. It is responsible for colors, font equity, text alignments, background images, graphics, tables, etc. It gives the position of various elements with the values being fixed, absolute, and relative. CSS3 allows the designer to create websites, rich in content and low in code. This technology brings some exciting features that make the page look good, is simple for the user to navigate through, and also functions flawlessly.

To aid in building highly interactive online pages, CSS3 is highly commended as it provides wider options for designing. When advertising products and services the website is first viewed by a visitor, it should be engaging and appealing, and this can be concluded with the help of CSS3.



About author

Arun Kumar(Entrepreneur, Blogger, Thinker & SEO Expert)

Arun Kumar (Solopreneur, Blogger, Thinker & SEO Expert)

Hello, I'm Arun, Currently holding position as Head of Digital Marketing having 8+ years of experience. I specialize in lead generation through Facebook and Google Ads, as well as excelling in SEO, SMO, SEM, and SMM to craft captivating online presences. I'm driven by a strong sense of ownership, motivation, and an insatiable curiosity for learning. I orchestrate strategic promotions, measure KPIs, and craft compelling marketing campaigns. My email marketing strategies are designed to elevate brand visibility and product awareness. I'm also a dedicated mentor, guiding team leaders and executives to success. Let's connect and explore how I can add value to your digital marketing efforts.

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