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Difference between CSS and SCSS

7 min read

image credit codersera


CSS has been the selection of developers when it involves web development from a previous couple of years. However, ever since the event of SASS, its use has reduced drastically. With SCSS being an improved version of SASS, it’s more commonly used lately.

But what does it have that creates it different from CSS? If CSS was fulfilling the need of developers, why did we’d like SCSS? Read more to seek out out the rationale behind this.

But before doing the comparison, allow us to have a summary of CSS and SCSS.

Cascading Style Sheets(CSS)

image credit codersera

CSS may be a styling language that’s employed by developers for website development. it’s wont to style sites and make them attractive. it’s one of the three fundamental parts of Web development, the opposite two being JavaScript and HTML.

CSS is meant to enable the separation of presentation and content including layout, colors, and fonts. This separation can improve content accessibility, provide more flexibility, and control within the specification of presentation characteristics, enable multiple sites to share formatting by specifying the relevant CSS during a separate .css file and reduce complexity and repetition within the structural context.

Every item or element on an internet page is a component of a document written during a terminology. In most cases, HTML(Hypertext Markup Language) is employed, but there are other languages in use like XML and XHTML.

The syntax of CSS is pretty simple and contains tons of English keywords for various style properties. It includes selectors, properties, values, declarations, declaration blocks, rulesets, at-rules, and statements.

To explain its syntax, allow us to take the assistance of an example given below:

h2 {
color: blue;
font-size: 3em;
text-decoration: underline;

In this example, h2 is the selector. The selector is followed by a declaration block that has three declarations. Each declaration is separated from subsequent by a semicolon. The tabs and line breaks are optional but employed by most developers to form the CSS code more human-readable.

By using the h2 element, we are telling that each level 2 heading on the online page should follow an equivalent declaration contained within the ruleset.

For the color property, we will either use a color keyword or a color formula in Hex, RGB, or HSL format. during this case, we used the color keyword blue. There are a couple of dozen color keywords available in CSS3, but many colors are often accessed with the opposite color models.

We applied the worth of 3em to the property font-size. there’s a good range of size units we could have used including pixels, percentages, and more.

At last, we added the worth underline to the property text-decoration. We could have also used overline or line-through as values for text-decoration.

Advantages of CSS

  1. Consistency – CSS helps in constructing a uniform framework that the designers can use to create other sites. thanks to this, the efficiency of the online designer increases also.
  2. simple Use – CSS is extremely easy to find out and simplifies website development. All the codes are placed on one page, meaning that the development or editing of the lines wouldn’t involve browsing several pages.
  3. Website speed – Usually, the code used for a site can go up to 2 pages or more. But with CSS, that’s not the difficulty. It requires only 2-3 lines of code and hence, the web site database remains uncluttered, removing any website loading issues.
  4. Device Compatibility – CSS changes are device friendly. Since people use different types of smart devices to access the web, there’s a requirement or responsive web design. CSS serves the aim here by making the online pages more responsive in order that they find themselves showing within the same way altogether the devices.
  5. Multiple Browser Support – CSS enjoys the support of multiple browsers. it’s compatible with all the main internet browsers.
  6. Re-Position – CSS allows you to define changes within the position of web elements present on a page. With its implementation, developers can position HTML elements at the place they like so as to align with the aesthetic appeal of the page or other considerations.
  7. Web-Page crawl – CSS helps in enabling SEO for your site. By incorporating CSS into your sites, it makes it easier for the program to locate your page within the search result.
  8. Transfer Size – It reduces the file transfer size. This leads to faster transmission of files.

Disadvantages of CSS

  1. Too many versions – in comparison with other parameters like HTML or Javascript, CSS features a lot of versions- CSS1, CSS2, CSS2.1, CSS3. due to this, CSS becomes very confusing to use, especially for beginners.
  2. Lack of security – Since CSS is an open-text based system, it doesn’t have the built-in security system which will prevent it from being overridden. With access to its read/write operations, anyone can alter the CSS file and alter the links.
  3. Fragmentation – With CSS, there’s an opportunity that what works with one browser doesn’t work with another browser. thanks to this, the online developers need to test the compatibility by running the program across multiple browsers before an internet site is about life.
  4. Complications – CSS can get complicated with the utilization of third-party software like Microsoft FrontPage.
  5. Cross-Browser Issues – Implementing initial CSS changes on an internet site is straightforward on the developer’s end. However, after the changes are made, you’ll need to confirm the compatibility if the CSS is displaying similar change effects on all the browsers. this is often simply thanks to the very fact that CSS works differently on different browsers.

Sassy Cascading Style Sheets(SCSS)


SCSS may be a preprocessor language that’s interrupted or compiled into CSS. it’s a special sort of SASS(Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets). Scripting of SCSS is completed in Saasscript. SCSS contains all the features of CSS with a couple of extra added on speciality features also .

Using SCSS, we will add many additional functionalities to CSS like variables, nesting and more. of these additional functionalities can make writing CSS much easier and faster as compared to writing the normal CSS.

SCSS produces a standard CSS that the browser can understand by running the SCSS files on the server running your web app. Reading the code in SASS or SCSS is quicker than reading in CSS.

For a far better understanding of SCSS, allow us to take an example to know its syntax.

@mixin button-base() {
@include typography(button);
@include ripple-surface;
@include ripple-radius-bounded;

display: inline-flex;
position: relative;
height: $button-height;
border: none;
vertical-align: middle;

&:hover { cursor: pointer; }

&:disabled {
color: $mdc-button-disabled-ink-color;
cursor: default;
pointer-events: none;

The only difference between SASS and SCSS with reference to their syntax is that the use of indentation { }. In other words, SCSS is nothing but SASS with the indentations in it.

Advantages of SCSS

  1. It facilitates you to write down clean, easy and fewer CSS during a program construct.
  2. It contains fewer codes so you’ll write CSS quicker.
  3. it’s excellent documentation, meaning that you simply can get all the specified information online.
  4. It provides nesting so you’ll use nested syntax and useful functions like color manipulation, math functions, and other values.
  5. it’s compatible with all versions of CSS. So, you’ll use any available CSS libraries.

It consists of variables that help in reusing the values throughout the CSS as repeatedly you would like . Syntax highlighting may be a widely used CSS tool and is supported in SCSS. SCSS allows you to use the prevailing code, and help improve its internal structure without altering the external behavior of the code.

Disadvantages of SCSS

  1. Debugging – Preprocessors have a compilation step which makes the code lines in CSS irrelevant when trying to debug the code. But debugging is twice as hard as programming, making it an enormous drawback.
  2. Large CSS Files – Source files could also be small but the generated CSS might be huge.
  3. Understanding – there’s a knowledge gap in CSS albeit the preprocessors became widespread. there’s an enormous difference between understanding a tool and using it effectively.
  4. Development – Compilation can make the event slow, even after using the simplest tools available.
  5. Loss of advantages – Using SASS may cause losing benefits of the browser’s built-in element inspector.

Comparison between CSS and SCSS

  1. SCSS is more expressive – SCSS uses less amount of lines in its code than CSS, which make the code load faster.
  2. It encourages proper nesting of rules – Standard CSS doesn’t support nesting. We can’t write a category inside another class. because the project gets bigger, this brings a readability problem and therefore the structure doesn’t look nice.
  3. Syntax – The syntax of SCSS contains indentations that are missing in CSS.
    SCSS allows the user to write down better inline documentation – SASS is flexible with comments, but any good developer will prefer inline documentation which is out there in SCSS. Inline documentation makes the lines of code self-explanatory.
  4. Better Functionality – With the assistance of SCSS, we will add more functionality to the code within the sort of variable, selectors, and nesting which isn’t present in CSS.
  5. Customizing Bootstrap – Having knowledge of SCSS helps in customizing Bootstrap 4.
  6. Mathematical Operations – SCSS allows us to try to to math using operators. we will perform simple calculations inside our code for better output.

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