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Part 4: All You Need to Know to Master Web Development With HTML CSS and JavaScript

Creating Website Layouts


CSS Layouts
CSS Flexbox
CSS Grid
CSS Floats
CSS Positioning
Multiple-column layout
Responsive Design
Project 1
Project 2
Project 3
References and Resources

Introduction to CSS Layouts

CSS layouts are the foundation of any modern web page. They provide the framework for arranging and organizing content, giving your website a visually appealing and user-friendly experience.
In the past, web developers relied on tables and other hacks to create layouts. However, CSS has emerged as the standard for layout design, offering a more flexible and efficient approach.

What are CSS layouts?

CSS layouts define the positioning and arrangement of elements on a web page. This includes:

  • Flow: How elements naturally flow from top to bottom and left to right.
  • Positioning: Precisely placing elements relative to other elements or the viewport.
  • Sizing: Defining the width and height of elements.
  • Alignment: Arranging elements horizontally or vertically within their container.

Why are CSS layouts important?

Using CSS layouts offers several advantages:

  • Flexibility: Easily adapt layouts to different screen sizes and devices.
  • Separation of concerns: Clearly separate content (HTML) from presentation (CSS) for better maintainability.
  • Accessibility: Ensure layouts are accessible to users with disabilities.
  • Performance: Create efficient layouts that load quickly and perform well.

Popular CSS layout methods

Several CSS techniques can be used to create layouts, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Some of the most common methods include:

1. Flexbox:
Flexbox provides a powerful and flexible way to arrange elements in rows or columns. It allows you to control the size, alignment, and order of elements within a container.


  • One-dimensional layout: Flexbox works with rows or columns, arranging elements along a single axis.

    A Complete Guide to Flexbox | CSS-Tricks - CSS-Tricks

    Our comprehensive guide to CSS flexbox layout. This complete guide explains everything about flexbox, focusing on all the different possible properties for the parent element (the flex container) and the child elements (the flex items). It also includes history, demos, patterns, and a browser support chart.



  • Simplicity: Easier syntax compared to traditional layout methods.
  • Responsiveness: Layouts automatically adapt to different screen sizes.
  • Flexibility: Easy arrangement and alignment of elements.
  • Efficiency: Reduces nested elements and complex code.

2. CSS Grid:
CSS Grid offers a two-dimensional layout system based on rows and columns. It allows for precise control over the positioning and size of elements, making it ideal for complex layouts.

A Complete Guide to CSS Grid | CSS-Tricks - CSS-Tricks

Our comprehensive guide to CSS grid, focusing on all the settings both for the grid parent container and the grid child elements.


Benefits of CSS Grid:

  • Flexible: Create intricate layouts with precise control over placement.
  • Responsive: Adapts seamlessly to different screen sizes and devices.
  • Code-efficient: Reduces complex nested structures for cleaner code.
  • Organization: Creates clear and structured layouts for better maintainability.

3. CSS Floats: A Simple Approach to Layouts
Floats have been a cornerstone of HTML layout for years, offering a straightforward method for positioning elements. While not as flexible as newer methods like Flexbox and CSS Grid, floats still hold their place in modern web development for specific use cases.

Float Basics:

  • float: left; or float: right;: Places an element alongside the content flow, floating either left or right.
  • Clears: Remove floated elements from the normal flow using clear: both; or specific side clearing (e.g., clear: left;).

Benefits of Floats:

  • Simple syntax: Easy to learn and implement for basic layouts.
  • Cross-browser compatibility: Works reliably in older browsers.
  • Lightweight: Minimal impact on page performance.

Use Cases for Floats:

  • Sidebars: Creating sidebar layouts with content flowing around it.
  • Image positioning: Floating images alongside text.
  • Two-column layouts: Implementing basic two-column layouts.

Limitations of Floats:

  • Limited control: Less precise positioning compared to Flexbox and Grid.
  • Responsiveness issues: Adapting to different screen sizes can be tricky.
  • Complex nested structures: Can lead to difficult-to-maintain code.

Example Code:

CSS Floats

This code floats an image to the left with margin and ensures the content flows below the image using a clear.

4. CSS Positioning:
CSS positioning offers precise control over element placement, allowing you to position elements anywhere on the page independent of the normal document flow. This makes it a powerful tool for creating custom layouts and achieving specific design goals.

Types of Positioning:

  • Static: This is the default positioning where elements flow naturally based on the HTML document structure.
  • Relative: Elements are positioned relative to their normal position.
  • Absolute: Elements are positioned relative to their nearest positioned ancestor or the viewport.
  • Fixed: Elements are positioned relative to the viewport and remain fixed regardless of scrolling.
  • Sticky: Elements are positioned relative to their containing block and remain fixed until a certain scroll point, then follow the normal flow.


  • top, bottom, left, right: Define offsets from the respective edges.
  • z-index: Controls the stacking order of overlapping elements.

Use Cases for Positioning:

  • Overlays: Create popups, modals, and tooltips.
  • Fixed elements: Implement sticky headers, sidebars, and navigation bars.
  • Custom layouts: Achieve specific layout designs that other methods cannot achieve.


  • Precise control: Position elements with absolute accuracy.
  • Flexibility: Create complex layouts with overlapping elements.
  • Versatility: Applicable for various design elements like popups and fixed components.


  • Complexity: Requires careful planning and understanding of positioning concepts.
  • Responsiveness: Adapting to different screen sizes can be challenging.
  • Accessibility considerations: Ensure positioned elements are accessible to users with disabilities.

Example Code:

CSS Positioning

This code creates a fixed overlay and a modal positioned in the center of the viewport.

5. Multiple-column layout:
Multiple-column layouts offer a structured and efficient way to present content on websites, resembling the familiar format of newspapers and magazines. They improve readability by breaking down large amounts of text and enhance user engagement with visually appealing layouts.

Key Features:

  • Organized: Content is grouped logically and visually.
  • Readable: Breaks down text for easier comprehension.
  • Flexible: Adapts to various screen sizes and devices.
  • Engaging: Creates visually appealing layouts.

Creation Methods:

  • Flexbox: Offers flexibility and responsiveness with flex-wrap: wrap and grid-template-columns properties.
  • CSS Grid: Provides precise control with grid-template-columns for defining column widths.
  • Multi-column Layout Module: Directly defines columns but has limited browser support.

Use Cases:

  • News websites: Articles alongside images and ads.
  • Blogs: Categorized content and posts.
  • Product pages: Images and descriptions side-by-side.
  • Portfolio websites: Projects and achievements showcased.

6. Responsive design:
Responsive design ensures that website layouts adjust seamlessly to different screen sizes, from desktops to smartphones. This guarantees a consistent and optimal user experience across all devices.

Key Features:

  • Flexibility: Adapts to various screen widths and resolutions.
  • Accessibility: Provides an equal and accessible experience for all users.
  • Improved SEO: Search engines favor responsive websites.
  • Reduced bounce rate: Users are more likely to stay engaged with a responsive site.

Implementation Methods:

  • Media Queries: Define specific styles for different screen sizes.
  • Grid-based layouts: Leverage CSS Grid for responsive and flexible layouts.
  • Responsive frameworks: Utilize tools like Bootstrap to simplify responsive development.

Basic Media Query Example:

Media Query

This code changes the font size of the .content element to 16px on screens with a maximum width of 768px.

Grid-based Responsive Layout:

Grid Responsive Layout

This code creates a two-column layout using grid. On smaller screens, it switches to a single-column layout for better readability.

Responsive frameworks like Bootstrap provide pre-built components and utilities to simplify responsive development. Their use can significantly reduce coding time and ensure consistent responsiveness across your project.

Project 1: Build an Academy Homepage with Flexbox

CSS Flexbox
You can click here to download the finished project.

You can click here to start creating your own.

Project 2: Product Homepage with CSS Grid

Project 2
Click here to download the project files

Project 3: Build a blog layout with Grid and flexbox

Build a blog layout with Grid and flexbox
You can click here to download the finished project.

You can click here to download the step-by-step guide.

You can click here to start creating your own.

Reference and Resources

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