WordPress is by far a much better alternative to the days when websites were hard-coded by hand. Hours of labor are spared and an intricately crafted website can be constructed and deployed in a matter of days. However, there are many instances where you may need to meet WordPress halfway. Even a slight background makes a huge difference when it comes to the quality of the finished product.
If you’ve ever constructed a WordPress site before, you’re probably familiar with some of the better-known HTML elements, such as <h1>, <p>, or <br>. Even with plugins like Visual Composer or WPBakery that help to build the structure of your site, you will be using these elements a lot. These elements provide structure, and more importantly, content. Having a fundamental understanding of HTML is imperative for the success of your site, especially if you don’t want it to just look like something very ‘cookie-cutter’.
Knowing the CSS box-model is also incredibly important when it comes to structure. Being able to add padding and margins to your HTML content make your page really come alive. Using proper padding ensures that the flow and readability of your website are maintained despite the addition of new content.
All themes come with a section, buried somewhere in the settings, that allows you to input custom CSS directly into your theme. There are so many applications for custom CSS. Assigning classes to blocks of content allows you to easily add structural changes across a wide array of content. Using this custom CSS makes your site appear much less messy from a backend perspective and makes it easier to edit your content.
This custom CSS can also be used to make changes and adjustments to your theme and plugins. A great example of using the custom CSS section involves the popular contact form plugin, Contact Form 7. The contact form lacks any real interface for simple customization like Visual Composer would. Using the classes already established by the plugin, it is a simple task to customize it yourself through the custom CSS section.
A working knowledge of CSS adds an unparalleled amount of customization when it comes to site-building and really lets you turn your vision into a reality.
There are really limitless things you can do with your website, regardless of theme, when you understand how to directly create content as well as directly customize it. These are only a few examples of when having a working knowledge of both HTML and CSS works to make your WordPress site a phenomenal success. There are countless examples, too many to list here, but when you run into them, you’ll be glad to know how to code your way out of it.