Adding CSS to Your Projects

Learn about the different ways to add CSS to HTML files.

Adding CSS to your projects

There are three ways to load CSS into a web page:

  • Using a link tag
  • Using style tags
  • Using inline styles

Let’s take a closer look at each method:

Using a link tag

One of the most effective ways to use CSS is to use a link tag. This is because our CSS file is connected to all our web pages, so when we make changes to the CSS file, they’re reflected on all of the website’s pages.

We add a link tag with the href attribute pointing to the CSS file we want to include.

This line of code should be added inside the head tag of the site (and not inside the body tag) as follows:

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="styles.css">

Also, the rel and type attributes are required because they tell the browser which kind of file we’re linking. An explanation of these attributes is given below:

  • The rel attribute identifies the relation between the current document and the linked document.
  • The type attribute specifies the media type.
  • The href attribute provides the location of the document.

We’re free to link up as many CSS files as we’d like. However, for smaller websites, a single CSS file is desirable because our page will load faster when it only needs to find one style sheet file.

External CSS using the link tag

Using a style tag

We can use CSS directly inside a style tag, like so:

Internal CSS using the style tag

This way, we don’t have to create a separate CSS file.

The point of CSS is to separate our presentation from our document structure - so the style tag is not the best practice. However, it can be an excellent way to test some CSS before working with a separate file quickly.

Using inline style

Another way to add CSS to a web page is to use inline style. We can add a style attribute to an HTML tag and put our CSS in double quotes:

<div style="">...</div>


Let’s alter the background-color of the <div> element to orange using the inline style technique

Changing the background color to orange using inline style

Example 2

Let’s set the font-size to 32 32px on our <h1> tag and change the background and font colors.

Setting the font-size of a heading using inline style

Note: The unit px stands for pixels , we’ll review at CSS units in more detail later in the course.