Developing on a Grid

Several months ago I came across the 960 grid system and became very intrigued.  The package of Cascading Style Sheet files promises to enable rapid development of websites while providing an easy-to-use grid structure.

This all sounded great to me, so I downloaded the files, read some tutorials and off I went.  The system is incredibly easy to use and one can create beautiful layouts in no time at all.  One of the most appealing things I have discovered in this system is the comprehensive reset style sheet that fixes a lot of the browser differences in interpreting the CSS standard.  I am often pleasantly surprised that the page I have just built looks the same across virtually all of the major browsers; no hacks necessary.

Some people may be concerned about the potential bloat that the grid system may add to their pages.  This is a legitimate concern but nothing to worry about with the 960 grid system.  The compressed files take up around 16kb while many of the custom style sheets I’ve built weigh in at around 4kb.  On a 56k modem 20kb can be downloaded in 3 seconds.  Once the external style sheets are cached by the browser,  they are loaded instantly from the hard drive for all the other pages.  Clearly the size of these files is a non-issue.

The flexibility in development and consistency across browsers that one gains with this CSS framework far outweigh the negative impact of file sizes.  The ability to easily enforce beautifully structured pages should not be overlooked either.  Designers all know how important an underlying grid is to the visual hierarchy of information; the 960 system simply helps unleash the power of the grid.

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  • By Quick and Powerful Wordpress Themes on December 12, 2009 at 2:56 pm

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