CSS vs CSS3: Difference Between CSS and CSS3

Webpage designing is one of the most popular verticals of web designing. It defines how a website will display itself on the internet. Various types of user experience also depend on this design. Users must get attracted to the webpages to access it frequently. The CSS is responsible for the styling part of the web design. It works in conjunction with HTML to provide a nice look, style, and structure to the program. The latest version of CSS is CSS3. In this article, you will learn about the differences between CSS and CSS3.

What is CSS?

The full form of CSS is Cascading Style Sheet. It is a styling language used for designing web pages where we can structure the styles. It is a stylesheet programming language used for describing the format and interface the elements of a markup language (usually HTML) will take. Hence CSS has become a significant part of web designing. Without the appearance, the web page’s entire look will become dull, and viewers will not find it notable to visit the page. It not only provides desktop webpage styling features but also used for mobile web development.

Using CSS, developers can tweak with the font style, background color, image, layout designing, and adjust different HTML elements with various styling. Developers can easily control the element and page layout from a single set of files. CSS is cross-browser compatible, which saves developers’ and testers’ time. Let us now understand the difference between CSS and CSS3.

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HTML is just a static and boring document container, and CSS works with this markup language to make it look appealing. CSS mostly works with HTML or XHTML. To make HTML-based web page development more aesthetic, in 1996, W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) developed the Cascading Style Sheet. They thought the presentation of the content should be powerful using layouts, colors, and fonts.

CSS can accommodate background colors & images, line spacing, layout design, font style, display variation for different devices and screen sizes, and effects. Web designers have to make changes in the single CSS file, and all the web pages within the website will change its form according to the intended CSS file. It is also essential to know the power and differentiation of CSS vs. CSS3. Let us talk about the difference between CSS and CSS3.

W3C developed the first version of CSS in 1996. CSS3 is the latest version of CSS released in the year 2005.
It doesn’t support media queries. For responsive web designing, it supports media queries.
New web browsers do not support CSS. New Web browsers support CSS3.
CSS isn’t compatible with CSS3. CSS3 is backwards compatible even with CSS.
CSS uses an old standard colour format. CSS3 provides a different gradient colour and schemes like RGBA, HSLA, HSL, and other colour gradients.
CSS does not have the concept of modules. CSS3 incorporates a new feature where it can group CSS codes into convenient modules. Modules ensure that all styles for a specific component will reside in one place.

Various other technical aspects make differences between CSS and CSS3. These are:

Compatibility: There is a compatibility issue of CSS with CSS3. All the preliminary CSS features got updated in CSS3. But CSS3 is backward compatible, and any code written in CSS is considered valid in CSS3. CSS3 is efficient, and hence it makes loading time much faster.

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Rounded Corners and Gradients: At the time of CSS release, developers use design images to make rounded corners with different structures and gradients. With the release of CSS3, developers have to add a simple code like round border {border-radius: 25px}. Also, it became easy to set the gradients using simple code like gradBG { Background:linear-gradient(red,blue); }

Lists in CSS vs. CSS3: In CSS, developers can create a different List (ordered and unordered). Developers can also introduce images for a list-item marker or add background colors. CSS can tweak list types like square, circle, and disc. But in the case of CSS3, the display property will have the list-item specified in it. Developers can introduce images against the list-item marker, but it doesn’t support numbering.

Text Effects and Animations: The animations in CSS use JavaScript and jQuery. There was no feature of layer design, and there wasn’t any special effect like text shadows, text selections, etc. CSS3 enables the developers to incorporate text-shadow to provide a 3D effect. CSS3 also provides a continuous and flexible variation of size or color of the words. The animations in CSS3 can run without Flash code or JavaScript. Also, using CSS3, developers can produce text designs in fewer lines of codes, that boost the loading speed of the web pages.


More non-web-safe Fonts: With the release of CSS, the CSS makes sure that all browsers and machines should use and display the same fonts so that the design does not encounter an anomaly. But in CSS3, instead of using web-safe labelled fonts, developers can implement more unique fonts with the HTML script.

Pseudo-classes in CSS vs. CSS3: CSS uses the pseudo-classes for defining a distinctive state of an HTML element. Developers use it for styling an HTML element when the mouse will hover over it or if you want to highlight visited and unvisited links uniquely. The syntax for using pseudo-class is selector: pseudo-classes { property: value; }. In the case of CSS3, developers use pseudo-classes the same way. But these pseudo-classes have additional features. They use the root target for the root element, and in the child(n), it uses a number within the (n) to target the child element.

Attribute Selector: CSS3 comes with the Selector concept, which was not there in CSS. Rather than applying classes or IDs for creating styles, using CSS3, developers can pick HTML elements in place of IDs and classes as attributes to apply CSS styles.

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CSS is a very robust tool as long as you know the differences between CSS and CSS3, along with some best practices and tips to use it. Without pouring the styles and appearances for every single element, blocks of text, or tables in the HTML, the web page will not look appealing. The CSS, in conjunction with HTML, allows developers to build a responsive and highly accessible website.

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