CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) methodology is the ultimate weapon in your arsenal for your website. It describes how HTML elements will be displayed on the screen and in other media.
There have been lots of development in CSS methodology. And you should choose the catchiest ones if you’re going to design a modern webpage. So, in this article, I’m going to tell you about my favorite top-trending CSS methodologies that will make your site shine.
Most Popular Choices in CSS Methodology
The thing about CSS methodology is that there is no “best” methodology. Different projects require different approaches. And one which works tremendously well in one case might just fail horribly in another. Here are some of the most used ones these days.
Object-Oriented CSS (OOCSS)
Object-Oriented CSS was first introduced back in 2009. It spread like wildfire as many developers adopted it fast. This methodology is still very popular. In this methodology, the structure and the skin are separated. So you can clearly differentiate between the contents and what holds them.
OOCSS helps to reduce duplicates of the same properties in various style rules. It tries to achieve this by using a lot of small, modular, specialist CSS classes. This methodology doesn’t try to lock CSS’s cascading behavior down with high-specificity selectors. Instead, it encourages authors to take advantage of it.
Block, Element, Modifier (BEM)
The Block, Element, Modifier (BEM) methodology distinguishes CSS classes that serve distinct functions. This is accomplished by naming CSS classes in a way that reflects their function.
A block is an individual, modular UI component in BEM terminology. A block can be made up of several HTML components or even multiple blocks. Moreover, a block could be something like your navigation menu or search form.
A block’s elements are its components. An element has a single function. A CSS class that modifies the default display of a block or element is called a modifier.
Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS (SMACSS)
You may have heard of it being referred to as “smacks.” This methodology fundamentally works with how you categorize your CSS style rules.
SMACSS has a more straightforward naming convention than BEM. There are no names for base styles because they are only used with type selectors. Instead, modules are assigned their own class names. The name of the parent module is prefixed to sub-components and variations.
SUIT CSS is interesting because of its combination of a BEM-like class naming with a CSS preprocessor. Also, SUIT CSS classes come in five formats:
This class-naming convention highlights the division between:
- General utility classes
- Standalone/modular UI components
- Individual elements
Atomic CSS (ACSS)
Atomic CSS simply defines a set of classes representing single-purpose styling units. First, the atomizer puts the ACSS syntax to help generate Atomic rulesets. After that, it just creates a style sheet with declarations relevant to your project.
It’s easier to predict what adding or removing classes might do. That is because of its single responsibility principle. This is also beginner-friendly. Because developers don’t create bloat as they mostly work by reusing existing classes.
Inverted Triangle CSS (ITCSS)
ITCSS is an abbreviation for Inverted Triangle CSS. It assists you in organizing your project CSS files so that you can better deal with (not always convenient) CSS characteristics such as global namespace, cascade, and selector specificity.
It’s a somewhat less known approach than SMACSS and OOCSS, though both can be coupled with ITCSS. ITCSS applies the same concepts as OOCSS by default but with greater separation depending on specificity. Consider this a distinct alternate CSS architecture to attempt if you’re already familiar with OOCSS.
My Top 5 CSS Methodologies in 2023
This is really hard to narrow down to only 5. For me, the top 5 methodologies to design a modern and refreshing website in 2022 would be the following ones.
I love BEM because of its good structure, modularity, and reusability. CSS is a fairly easy language to learn. But as a project grows larger, things get very hard to maintain. With BEM, maintaining CSS becomes a lot more bearable.
Inverted Triangle CSS or ITCSS is the best and most stress-free way of structuring CSS files. In this methodology, you think less about naming things. It’s highly reusable and flexible.
Good old SMACSS shines most because of its scalability. Because of this, the page’s readability increases quite a lot.
OOCSS separates structure from skin and container from content. This is why the stylesheets become easily maintainable. With OOCSS, you get a faster website. And OOCSS is easier to modify (common styles).
With Atomic CSS, you can keep specificity out of the way. As a result, ACSS helps to improve performance. And with ACSS, you can share content and assets in a much easier way.
I repeat, there is no best CSS methodology. Each one shines in different circumstances. Hopefully, the short descriptions provided with my top 5 CSS methodologies sum up the best sides of each methodology.
I hope this will help you to choose the right CSS methodology for your project. With the right choice, you’ll find the maintenance of CSS to be a lot easier.