What are some of your biggest challenges with HTML & CSS?

I’m new to this industry and I’m trying to learn if people are having the same struggles as I have.

Describe what are some of your struggles with HTML and/or CSS.

I’ll get it started. For me it is: Semantics and order.

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What perspective do you want? Beginner, intermediate, or advanced? Each have their own difficulties.

You say you are a beginner, do you want us to confirm that your difficulties are normal for beginners?

My biggest struggle is with HTML and remembering all the little semantic elements that I could probably be using. Such as <time> or other random elements.

Not looking for any confirmations, just hear what people have to say.

The semantics of HTML elements are pretty straightforward. Each tag gives specific meaning to the content it surrounds, so I’d say just read up on them carefully and you shouldn’t have much issue.

CSS is also pretty straightforward in terms of styling individual elements. Perhaps the main difficulty arises when using CSS for layouts. This is where you need some experience in how to structure your HTML in a way that makes CSS layouts practical. All too often people pile HTML into their pages almost randomly and then hope that CSS will get them out of a mess, which it often can’t do.

To learn the basics of good page structure, I suggest you read a book on CSS that introduces it in a logical, step-by-step way. Most people who struggle with contorted layouts haven’t laid the proper foundations for understanding layout, which is actually quite simple when done properly.

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closing tags, remembering ;

For me it’s basically organization: Organization of files, CSS, Javascript… Keeping things organized for a small site is easy but for a theme where they can add the sky and more and it can get extremelly complex…

Because in a complex site, you don’t say I’m targetting a H1 element, you really use classes in case they want the H1 in red, or like this or like that… What counts is the purpose and context where it will be used so even if H1 always will be the first header, that doesn’t mean that visually you want it to be huge… but sometimes yes…

So organization is the big thing for me.

Yea, I’m currently trying to get familiar with HTML5, I think I understand the semantics a little better. Like your H1 scenario, we now have <header>, <section>, <footer> and we need to figure out how to use these correctly.

Have you dug into HTML5? What’s your experience like?

What site do you use for documentation or cheat sheet? I like to use the mozilla developer network or devdocs.io

I confess that my biggest benefit with HTML 5 is that the I don’t have to write all long paragraph with the DOCTYPE information… that was a pain

I don’t take advantage of the new features. I should take the time to read the whole thing again. I did when it came out, then I used the same elements I did before (sometimes, because those elements where not really usefull, to new for the browsers and sometimes because I felt it was like going back to old HTML bad habits) and… well, never used them as I should.

So my HTML 5 skills are so-so. I know the elements, I know they’re there… but I don’t think about them when I have to use them. That includes <aside> and things like that. Not even mentioning the canvas

I confess that I never even memorized it LOL! I copy/pasted it Every. Single. Time.

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I did the same. Well, I had a few templates with the DOCTYPE included. Still, it was a pain

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Flexbox is challenging. Everything else is pretty straight forward :smile:

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I haven’t had time to really dig into flexbox, but I signed up for Sean’s newsletter on flexbox and I have the basic concept. I think the first few videos I watched were great. He made it very easy to understand.

If you haven’t attained your level of incompetence you aren’t trying hard enough. :wink:


Yes, I watched those a few months ago and found them useful. The trouble is that until I start using flexbox daily I keep forgetting the finer details.:slight_smile:

lol - Some days I feel like I know nothing :wink:

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I struggle using templates such as foundation… I realize they’re there to make life easier, but I find them hard to use sometimes…

I can relate, but it’s all about deliberate practice everyday. I think I put about 3-4 a day into learning and staying fresh. If you have to build a small page for fun and practice everyday, do it.

I like bootstrap and foundation a lot actually. I use treehouse to learn and they’ve been nothing but great in growning my skills.

I actually prefer to build my own structure, and use it as a template.I’m currently working on building a CSS grid. I’ve never really been a fan of bootstrap… I honestly think it was one of things that was enforced when I was in school. Everybody used it.

I’m slowly reaching a point where I don’t have to reach for the cheat sheet every time I’m doing flex, but yeah - it’s a doozy. Still, had just as much trouble learning CSS layout to start with, especially in the bad old days of IE 6.

Ironic isn’t it, that a lot of sites use box-sizing: border-box to return to the IE 6 layout mode :smile:

Yes I use it on all new sites now and I love the simplicity. :smile:

I remember the old arguments very well as IE5/6 was the browser I grew up with remember the amount of stick that MS got for using the “broken box model” as it was later nicknamed.