CSS vs SCSS: How Do They Differ?

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Developers have always preferred CSS for web designing and development in recent years. SASS (Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets) reduced CSS’s market share. SCSS, an advanced version of SASS, is replacing CSS. CSS and SCSS have altered the way web developers create websites, particularly layouts. It has used tables to make them, a process that is either gone or not the only option. In order to achieve their desired effects, developers can now use gradients and rounded corners without relying on background images.

With CSS and SCSS, developers are able to separate HTML files from design and formatting, simplifying and streamlining the web design process. Despite this, CSS and SCSS are often debated. Thankfully. This article aims to help you decide which one to choose by comparing them in detail. So let’s look at how CSS and SCSS differ.

CSS vs SCSS Comparison Table

Release DateDecember 17, 1996August 2, 2004
Developed byWorld Wide Web Consortium (W3C)Natalie Weizenbaum, Chris Eppstein
ArchitectureSophisticatedOriented and Comprehensive
LanguageWorks in Integration with HTML and JavaScript.Based on SaasScript.
Expression SyntaxConsists of selective block and Declarative with semicolons.Eliminates blocks and uses indentation that uses a new line instead of a semicolon.
VariableDoes not allow the reuse of CSS variables and thus code needs to be rewritten.Allows reuse of variables that benefit in font slack feature.
ShareabilityOne property can be ascertained in a block of code.Saas allows to sharing of CSS properties all across the code.
NestingNesting of CSS selectors might lead to conflicts and expose pieces of code.Initiated nesting of CSS selectors with a specific hierarchical structure.
DependenceCan be used along with HTML to style and enhance web pages.Saas is a pre-processing language that is compiled in CSS.
Lines of CodesCSS makes extensive use of lines of codes.SCSS makes use of comparatively fewer lines in its codes.
FunctionsCSS consists of various common features, and thus, it can perform some basic functions.SCSS consists of more advanced features, and thus, it can perform more advanced functions.
FeaturesMore PopularLess Popular
UsageCommonly used to style web pages.Mostly used with the SASS program, which is written in Ruby.
File ExtensionIt uses the .css file extension.It uses the .scss file extension.
DesignIt is the styling language that is used to style and create web pages.It is a special type of file for the SASS program written in the Ruby language.

What is CSS?

what is css

The Cascading Style Sheets language, more commonly referred to as CSS, is a styling language that gives web designers and developers the ability to control the appearance of a web page. Hakon Wium Lie proposed CSS for the first time on October 10th, 1994. However, in 1996, the W3C issued the first CSS recommendation (CSS1).

HTML only allows us to specify the dimensions of a page, not its aesthetic appeal. CSS comes into play here. By using CSS, we can employ a variety of features to make a website appear attractive or professional. This allows us to change the structure of the tables or divisions, color the text, set the margin and padding, and select the text font.

In simple terms, we could describe this as the language that is used to modify the display or structure of a web page. The most basic description we can give of this is that it is what is used to enhance a web page. Typically, a web page comprises the structure, design, and client site functionality. The structure is provided by HTML, and CSS provides the design.

CSS3 was launched many years ago, and since then, no new version has been released. Using this version, you can round the border without any difficulties, and the developers who were struggling to do so in CSS can breathe a sigh of relief because the problem has been solved. Despite CSS3’s ease of use, you may still need the assistance of a CSS3 developer in certain instances. 

Example of CSS

Internal CSS

It is possible to define an internal style for a single HTML document. 

Internal styling is defined in the <head> section of an HTML page, within a <style> element:


External CSS

The style for many pages is defined by an external style sheet. It’s easy to change the appearance of an entire website simply by changing a single file in an external style sheet!

To use an external style sheet, add a link to it in the <head> section of the HTML page:


CSS Fonts

CSS’s color property determines the color of the HTML element’s text.

An HTML element’s font family is specified using the CSS font-family property.

Text size is defined by the CSS font-size property.

CSS Selectors

Selecting the material you want to style in your document is done with the use of CSS selectors. The CSS ruleset includes selectors as one of its components. Selectors in CSS choose HTML components based on a variety of criteria, including their id, class, attribute, etc. 

There are several different types of selectors in CSS.

  • CSS Element Selector
  • CSS Id Selector
  • CSS Class Selector
  • CSS Universal Selector
  • CSS Group Selector

1. CSS Element Selector

The element selector picks HTML elements based on their names.

2. CSS Id Selector

A particular element can be chosen using the id selector, which works by selecting the id attribute of an HTML element. Because an id will always be distinct inside the page, it can be used to choose just one of a given kind of element. It is represented by the hash character (#), and then the id of the element that is being referenced comes next.

Take this example with the identifier “para1,” for instance.

3. CSS Class Selector

The class selector is used to select HTML items having a certain class property. It is used with a period symbol . (full stop symbol).

Let’s take an example with a class “center”.

4. CSS Universal Selector

The universal selector is used as a wildcard character. It selects all the elements on the pages.

5. CSS Group Selector

This selector is used to pick all items with identical style declarations. Grouping selection is used to reduce the amount of code. In grouping, commas are used to separate each selector.

Let’s look at the CSS code that doesn’t use a group selector.

CSS Properties

There are many CSS properties that are available, but we will look into those that are pretty common and used a lot to build a solid foundation first.


If you are a developer, you are likely familiar with it as it is utilized frequently. In case you don’t remember, the color property is used to specify the color of the text within an HTML element. This applies to any HTML element that has text content, including <h1>-<h6>, <p>, <a> and more.

Color values can be expressed in several formats, but the most common are hex values, RGB, and named colors.


The font-size property sets the size of the text. Being able to manage the text size is important in web design. However, you should not use font size adjustments to make paragraphs look like headings, or headings look like paragraphs. Always use the proper HTML tags, like <h1> - <h6> for headings and <p> for paragraphs. The font-size value can be an absolute, or relative size.


The height and width properties define the height and width, respectively, of an HTML element. There are numerous possible values for both of these attributes, including pixels and percentages, etc.


It is possible to set a border for your HTML element using the border property. This allows you to create a border around your <img> tag.

CSS Advantages

  • With the help of Cascading Style Sheet, you can automatically apply necessary styles several times after repeating styling for an element once.
  • CSS provides uniform styling across various websites. A single instruction can apply to many areas.
  • To increase site speed, web designers must use fewer lines of code per page.
  • Since a change to a single line of code will affect the whole website, CSS simplifies the building of websites as well as website maintenance.
  • It is less complicated.
  • With the help of CSS, you are able to make consistent and spontaneous changes.
  • Changes to CSS property are device-friendly. 
  • It is capable of repositioning.
  • These enormous reductions in bandwidth are caused by insignificant tags that are distinct from a lot of pages.
  • User-friendly customization of the online page.
  • It reduces the size of the file transfer.

CSS Disadvantages

  • What works in one browser may not always work in another with CSS. Web developers must test the program’s compatibility across multiple browsers.
  • There is a lack of security.
  • CSS language may become complicated when third-party tools such as Microsoft FrontPage are utilized.
  • It is important to verify compatibility if any issues arise after implementing the modifications. The changes affect all browsers.
  • The world of programming languages is complex for non-developers. Different levels of CSS, such as CSS, CSS 2, and CSS 3, are frequently quite confusing.
  • There are multiple levels that create confusion for non-developers and beginners.

What is SCSS?

What is SCSS

SCSS is superior to CSS. Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets (SASS) contain a special file called SCSS. SCSS is the improved solution to CSS. Hampton Catlin designed SCSS, which was then developed by Chris Eppstein and Natalie Weizenbaum. Because of its extensive features, it is commonly referred to as Sassy CSS. The file extension for SCSS is .scss.

Using SCSS, we can extend the capabilities of CSS to include variables, nesting, and more. All of these additional features can make writing CSS simpler and quicker.

By executing SCSS files on the server hosting your web application, SCSS generates standard CSS that the browser can comprehend. Reading SASS or SCSS code is faster than reading CSS code.

SCSS Example

SASS and SCSS examples can simply be created. Follow these steps:

Here is an example of how to use SCSS in HTML. Create an HTML file with the following code:

SCSS Variables

Even if you never use any of SCSS’s other features, variables would be reason enough to compile CSS. As we have described, variables are very useful. Let’s look at how.

You can define a variable in the same way you define a CSS rule. The basic syntax is to use a $ before the variable name and to treat the definition like you would any other CSS rule.

Sass Variable Syntax : $<variable name>:<value>;


This substitution will be handled by the Sass transpiler:



The scope concept is supported by Sass variables as well. Variables are only available at the level of nesting where they are defined. Here’s an example:

SCSS Variable Scope

Can you determine the color of text included within and <a> tag? It will be red in color. The second definition $main-color: blue; will only be accessible within the rules for the <p> tag. The following CSS has been translated.

SCSS Nested Syntax

SCSS Nested Rules

Scss lets you nest CSS selectors in the same way as HTML.

Look at an example of some Sass code for a site’s navigation:

Scss nests the ul, li, and selectors within the nav selector.

Unlike CSS, which defines each rule individually (not nested):

CSS Syntax 

Sass Nested Properties

Numerous CSS properties share the same prefix, such as font-family, font-size, and font-weight, as well as text-align, text-transform, and text-overflow.

They can be expressed as nested properties in Sass:

SCSS Syntax

CSS Output

SCSS Mixins

By using the @mixin the directive, you can create CSS code that can be reused throughout your website.

@include allows you to use (include) the mixin.

Sass @include mixin Syntax:

So, to include the important-text mixin created above:

SCSS Syntax

The Sass transpiler will convert the above to normal CSS:

CSS Output

A mixin can also include other mixins:

SCSS Syntax

SCSS Advantages

  • You can use SCSS to write clean, simple, and concise CSS.
  • It contains fewer codes, so CSS can be written faster.
  • It is more stable, powerful, and elegant because it is an extension of CSS. This makes it easier for designers and developers to work more efficiently and quickly.
  • It’s compatible with all CSS versions. So, you can use any available CSS library.
  • It offers to nest so that you can use nested syntax and useful functions such as color manipulation, mathematical functions, and other values.

SCSS Disadvantages

  • The developer must devote sufficient time to learning about its new features before using this preprocessor.
  • Using Sass could result in the loss of the browser’s native element inspector.
  • Code requires compilation.
  • Complex Troubleshooting.
  • The knowledge of SCSS helps to customize Bootstrap 4.

CSS vs SCSS: Who Won?

The difference between CSS and SCSS has now been outlined in great detail. You now have access to every piece of knowledge there is to know about the two, whether it be the definition, the qualities, the advantages, or the disadvantages. According to us, valid SCSS provides all the functionality of CSS and additional features not found in CSS, making it an excellent alternative for web designers. SCSS is loaded with extensive capabilities. SCSS enables variables and by utilizing variables, you can shorten your code. It is a significant improvement over standard CSS.

So in this battle of CSS vs SCSS, you will decide which of the two options is the better fit for your requirements by analyzing the benefits and drawbacks of each. You are now in control of the situation, given that the knowledge is available to you. Make sure that you go with the alternative that will yield the best results. Also, have a look at our Blog on Top Web Design Trends You Should Not Miss in 2023.

Jigar Shah is the Founder of WPWeb Infotech - a leading Web Development Company in India, USA. Being the founder of the company, he takes care of business development activities and handles the execution of the projects. He is Enthusiastic about producing quality content on challenging technical subjects.

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