WordCamp Providence: Getting SASSy

Brad Parbs presented Getting SASSy: Fun with CSS Preprocessors at WordCamp Providence. Parbs, founder of Snow Day Group, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is a contributor to the WordPress core (The core is the base set of programs that get installed at every WordPress blogger’s website.), and loves all things WordPress.

I attended this session because I had heard about SASS at last year’s WordCamp Boston and again at Pubcon, had a vague recollection in the back of my head like, “As a WordPress developer, this is something that I need to do”, and thought that I would re-acquaint myself with it.

Brad Parbs Snow Day Group

Brad Parbs talks about CSS and SASS

So glad that I did! It is time to start using SASS to generate CSS so that I can accomplish more in less time, letting the SASS tool figure out the proper CSS for each different browser, and freeing me to develop more blogs.

CSS is the markup language used to define the style of your blog and website. CSS ‘code’ is typically kept in a file separate from web pages on which the blog entries display, and is then included in the header of the page so the contents will display correctly.

The content of a page, the images and words that will  display on the page, is defined in the page, and the style (size of font, color of font, location of images, image borders, page margins, etc.) is defined in a CSS file. CSS, then, is critical to the design presentation of your website.

Each browser supports different subsets of CSS ‘code’, so blog developers are often having to write different versions of code to accomplish the same thing but in different browsers. It is time consuming and drains creative energy.

Using a tool like SASS, a WordPress developer like myself can quickly define a box shadow around an image, and SASS will figure out which ‘code’ to use so that the box shadow displays correctly in each of the browsers.

One of the fantastic features of SASS is that, within the SASS development environment, you can break the SASS up into multiple files and work with smaller cohesive pieces at a time. Then when the blog is ready to be published, the multiple SASS files are rolled into one – which is the best way to store your CSS online for the quickest page load time (response time to your audience).

Other great features of SASS,

  • SASS works with responsive design
  • There are precompilers that auto-create the SASS environment without a lot of technical interference. Prepos or Scout are two precompilers that Windows users can download to create a SASS environment.

I have downloaded and installed Prepos and will be giving it a test run this weekend. In a couple of weeks,¬† I’m expecting to have some free time…Call me (508-480-8833) and I’ll use that time to develop your blog!

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