How to link a stylesheet to your HTML Page

BY shahram

Updated: 11th October, 2022

Follow up blog from Junior Web Developer Shahram Zamani’s blog: How to create a simple HTML page.

Now you know how to build a basic web page including a <head> tag, <body> tag, and even <p> tags. We are going to look into styling our basic HTML page using CSS language, and link a stylesheet to our HTML page.

To begin with, you will need a text editor. There are many open source editors available such as Notepad++, Sublime Text, Atom, and my personal favourite, Brackets. If you are new to coding, or using CSS, I would advise using Brackets as it is designed specifically for front-end developers/web designers with a built in LIVE preview update. It also features a CSS selector, which means you are able to select a piece of CSS and it will highlight in the browser, the area you are targeting. This is a perfect tool for grasping CSS if you are new to it.

So if you have followed Junior Web Developer Shahram Zamani’s blog, you should already have a basic HTML page with the following:

HTML Structure

Loading your HTML Page in the browser

At the moment your website should look like this when loaded in the browser:

browser view

It looks empty so feel free to add some more content using the HTML tags you learnt in the previous blog. We can now begin the fun part and add some colour! To do this you will need to open a new page in your chosen text editor and save it as main.css.


CSS Stylesheets

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a stylesheet language used for describing the presentation of a document written in a HTML mark-up language. In CSS, we are able to target specific HTML tags and apply different styling including colours, layout, variations, effects and sizes etc.

Before we begin coding CSS, we need to consider the HTML tags used on our webpage so we can target these in our main.css stylesheet.

Simple HTML screenshot

If you page looks like mine, you will see we have 3 different HTML tags:

  • <body>
  • <h1>
  • <p>

We will now add these to our main.css, but instead of formatting with open and closed tags <>, we will be using open and closed {} swirly brackets; please see below:

HTML tags

The CSS rules we place inside these brackets will determine the presentation of our HTML element when loaded in a browser. You need to use a stylesheet (CSS) to override browser default styling. Browsers read your HTML markup to determine the size of your text in accordance to your <h1><h2><h3><h5><h6><p> tag hierarchy. Browsers recognize a <h1> with higher importance than content in a <p> tag which is evident in their default stylesheet, please below:

browser html view

Basic CSS Styling

Now we have created our main.css stylesheet, we can begin to target our HTML tags with CSS rules, see below:

basic css styling

You are now probably wondering why your HTML page will not load in the browser with the following presentation rules. The reason for this is our HTML page has no recognition, or link to our CSS page.

Linking your Stylesheet

We need to tell our browser in the <head> element that there is an additional stylesheet we want it to link to, in order to use our stylesheet rather than loading with the default styling in the browser. This is when we can include the <link> rel attribute to specify the relationship between our HTML page and main.css

<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”main.css”>

Your code should now look something like this:

linking your stylesheet

After linking your stylesheet in your HTML <head> tag, your page will load in the browser with your CSS rules applied, as shown below:

browser view with css linking

The above CSS rules are basic; now you have learnt how to link a stylesheet to your HTML page, you can now experiment with more in-depth CSS rules and it shall update in your browser. If you need help with creating a website for your business then feel free to contact one of our experts at Bravr today

Written by shahram

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