CSS - Do professional programmers use tools, templates or is it manual?

Hi all,

Just wanted to investigate how others here use CSS. While it seems pretty straightforward to generate manual code for a few pages/elements, I was wondering how do professional programmers deal with large websites.

Is there any recommended tool? Do you slice your site into sections so as to have a ‘custom css template’ that you fill?


Well, I think any front-end coder has to use some CSS. I sometimes use libraries that do some of the work, but I still need to do CSS all the time.

Thank you very much!

The scope of my question is to understand how valuable some tools I keep seeing online are. What do professional WebDev’s use?

For example. On C I code by hand, but then I have functions written by someone else like sensors, outputs, drivers for displays and so on. I don’t write those from scratch (as it would be way too time consuming).

So on HTML, what’s the extent these design tools can help you - Is it common practice to code a whole website from scratch using just a ‘text editor’? Or you use templates to get the skeleton and only do the customization by hand?


I think that if something boosts your speed in getting to final product, it’s definetely a good something.

I found myself using Sass, rather than normal CSS, because not only it makes it faster to write CSS in case of nested elements, but it’s also more manageable on the long run.

I agree on templates being useful, but honestly I don’t use them all of the times.
Some of the times (like for personal project where there is no deadline factor) I want to have the challange of creating the skeleton by myself.

Also in most code editors/IDE there are plugins you can install to expand a typed word into an already-made code template.
It’s very useful when you are dealing with Bootstrap’s card, carousel, etc or if you find yourself writing down lots of repeated code.

There are probably people that do both. There are people that just use templates with a little coding. Or they may use tools tools like WordPress/Wix where they can do wysiwyg if you’re so inclined. But of course their web sites tend to look alike and it may be difficult to customize.

There are also people that build web sites from scratch. They might use something like Bootstrap or Material Design to handle the tedious stuff and to create a unified design. They might even have a few very basic templates they use, maybe one’s they’ve created. But they are sitting down at a text editor and building the site from scratch, in the most general sense of the word.

But I doubt many people are sitting down and writing everything from scratch without importing any libraries.

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Thanks Kevin,

What would an example of those libraries be, out of curiosity? Something like a theme or a plugin to accept payments?

A good example would totally be something for accepting payments, like the Stripe library for Node.js.
A good lesson that I’ve been taught is “do not reinvent the wheel” (especially if the wheel functions very well).
Others might be CSS frameworks like Bootstrap/Tailwind/Bulma, or JS frameworks/libraries like React/Angular/Vue.

Simone gives some good examples. I might add jQuery. I mentioned material ui. Ant design is another. CSS preprocessors like Sass and less. HTML preprocessors like pug and handlebars. There are helper things like webpack.

All those things will help you by taking away the boring and tedious parts of the job. They don’t do the job for you, they just make the boring parts easier so you can focus on the creative side. But you still need to learn the boring things. I think FCC does a good job of taking you through the basics of building web sites. Once you understand those better, you’ll understand what those tools can do for you. But I wouldn’t try to do it the other way around.

Thanks Simon & Kevin,

[…] But I wouldn’t try to do it the other way around.

Absolutely not.

I’m just overwhelmed by the amount of information even the simplest web page has compared to a few years ago and questioning myself how does an experienced Web\Dev deal with those things. I haven’t stopped learning new things over this last week, let alone being able to master each of them - Really trying to see the things from above helps me understand where all the detail is leading and where to focus time . :smiley:

Yes, it is overwhelming. Even after you make it, they still keep throwing new things at you. This is the environment. But it is especially difficult on beginners, not knowing where to put work when there are so many options.

My advice would be to not worry about the perfect path as there is none. Just keep learning. It will pay off. Just trust that if a lot of people are saying it is important, it’s probably worth learning. Just keep learning. Keep building things. That’s how you do it.