One of the best ways to learn CSS is just by looking at the code other people have written. Over the years, I’ve gotten fairly competent at writing CSS, and yet I still find it helpful to look at other people’s work. There’s more than one way to achieve a look, and I’m always hunting for the most efficient way to code my site.
Whatever your level of expertise with CSS, online stylesheet generators can help you. If you’re a total n00b who just wants a decent stylesheet for a site you’re building, they can give you that. If you’re fairly proficient but struggling with a particular problem, you can probably find a stylesheet generator that will do it, and crib its code. You can even find online stylesheet generators for Thesis theme, which is awesome but can be terrifying if you’re used to more traditional WordPress themes. When I first started working with Thesis, I found generators very helpful.
Online CSS generators
There are three main aspects to CSS: typography, colors and layout. Some generators focus on just one of those. By using more than one generator, you can put together a whole stylesheet of ultra-clean, functional code. There are also some more all-inclusive generators – they’ll be toward the bottom of the list.
- Thesis Robot: made especially to work with Thesis, which out of the box is extremely plain. This generator can instantly make your These site look unique.
- Creating Online’s generator focuses on typography, an often overlooked but very important part of a website’s look and feel.
- CSS Generator also focuses on typography.
- The CSS Layout Generator is all about layout: headers, columns, sidebars and footers.
- Little Boxes is strictly about pixel perfect layouts.
- Ditto for Layout-O-Matic.
- Tableless Code gives you more options than the other layout generators.
- Riverdrift focuses on helping you find a good color scheme, and generate the CSS code to put in your pages. It’s great because it includes a ton of colors, and shows you right on the screen how they’re all going to look together.
- I adore Strange Banana. Refresh the page, and it randomly generates a new look (I’ve never seen the same one twice) which you can download and use. It’s also a great way to get ideas for a new site look. Watch out for how it colors typography, though – it doesn’t always put enough shades between font colors and background colors.