A common question is whether or not you need any coding skills for WordPress development. The short answer is ‘no’, but we’re going to explain throughout this article how even just a little bit of CSS knowledge can make a big difference in optimizing your website.
What is CSS?
CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets, and is not technically a programming language. It is meant as a companion to HTML. While HTML controls the content of your page, such as blog text and headers, CSS controls the visual elements such as layout and background color of your website.
HTML can exist without CSS, but CSS cannot exist without HTML. Imagine it this way - you’re writing in a physical notepad. The words you’re writing down are presented by HTML. But the color of the paper, the margins, any cute little motifs around the paper’s border - that’s CSS.
Why should you learn CSS for managing a WordPress site?
Without CSS knowledge, you’ll be able to put together a fairly basic WordPress site using the built-in site building tools. You could even install third-party themes and plugins on your website to handle your visual elements. If you have absolutely no interest in doing any CSS yourself, you could even just outsource it all to a company that specializes in WordPress design.
However, once you start adding multiple plug-ins to your website on your own, you’ll need to tinker with CSS to make them fit naturally on your website and not override each other, depending on the types of plug-ins you want.
Another thing to consider is creep scope. The more content you add to your website, the more you’ll want to customize and optimize it. Learning CSS is basically an inevitability once you get into WordPress.
Creating a WordPress site without any CSS knowledge will result in a very generic looking website. You can quite easily learn HTML/CSS as you go along, and be comfortable with it in less than two weeks. A technical programming language like Java or Python can take years to master.
What WordPress tasks require coding knowledge?Creating and editing website themes: It’s easy to install third-party WP themes, but for doing any kind of edits, even as small as moving buttons, you’ll need to tinker with the theme’s CSS file. And of course you’ll absolutely require CSS to develop your own theme, no matter how minimal it is.
Your entire website’s visual appearance is set by the style.css file, which is, believe it or not, written entirely in CSS.
PHP is also the backbone language of WordPress, and everything we’ve mentioned so far will also require a bit of PHP knowledge as well.