Once a year, I teach a web design course at the local college. This course is aimed toward beginners and focuses on the basics of web design. I always make a habit of showing my students examples of HTML and CSS code from several popular websites, and some of them are surprised at how much code goes into developing a simple page!
Of course, looks can be deceiving. Over the years, the process of actually developing a website has become more and more streamlined as the industry has grown and matured. New tools and resources are available to designers that weren’t available before. One in particular—the CSS preprocessor—aims to make the task of writing CSS easier and quicker than ever before.
There are two popular CSS preprocessors in use today—SASS and LESS—and the way these two work is simple. A developer writes their CSS using a special syntax. This syntax can include shorthand elements not present in CSS, such as variables, nested rules, and so on. The developer then takes the finished SASS or LESS code and runs it through a compiler. The end result is a complete CSS file that is ready for upload and took far less time to code.
If you would like to learn more about how to use CSS preprocessors, both the SASS website and LESS website have excellent documentation that will get you up and running quickly.