SCSS Vs CSS: Key Difference Between CSS and SCSS

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In recent years, developers have consistently prioritized CSS as their primary choice for building and developing websites. However, SASS (Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets) has considerably decreased the overall adoption of CSS across the board due to its commercial influence. These days, we can frequently replace CSS with an enhanced form of SASS called SCSS. Every web browser can read CSS, which is the standard style language. The CSS language is a subset of SCSS.

We will look at the head-to-head comparison of SCSS vs CSS in this article.

What is SCSS?

SCSS stands for Sassy Cascading Style Sheets or Sassy CSS. It is a superset of the CSS language that allows web designers more freedom and control when designing web designs by adding new features to CSS. Hampton Catlin developed it, and Chris Eppstein and Natalie Weizenbaum came up with the idea.

Using SCSS, we can extend CSS with many new capabilities, such as variables, nesting, and many others. Due to all of these extra features, writing SCSS may be easier and quicker than writing regular CSS.

Most browsers don't understand SCSS and must be compiled into CSS before you can use them in a browser. The extension used for an SCSS style sheet is .scss.

It uses the same syntax as CSS, requiring brackets and semicolons to designate blocks and line endings. Let us understand its syntax by using the following example:

Example : We will convert the CSS used in the previous example to SCSS.

  • Here, $theme_blue:blue , $theme_black: black; and $theme_yellow: yellow; represent SCSS variables.
  • Instead of using a descendant selector to separate styles in CSS, we employ nesting in SCSS.

What is CSS?

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. It was introduced in 1994 at the WWW conference but wasn't widely used in browsers until the mid-2000s. CSS is a scripting language that describes how HTML elements should appear on a web page. CSS allows developers to style web pages and make them more appealing and attractive.

Layout, color, and font can be separated from the text and displayed using the CSS language. With this separation, multiple web pages can share formatting by specifying CSS in their file, resulting in better accessibility, greater control, and flexibility. It reduces structural complexity.

CSS syntax is pretty simple and contains a lot of English keywords. It includes selectors, properties, values, declarations, etc.

Let us use an example to explain its syntax:

Example :

Here's an HTML code.

We include the CSS file in the head using a link tag.

The CSS code :

  • Here, body is a CSS selector.
  • #content is an id selector.
  • #content h1 and #content p represents a descendent selector.
  • background-color , padding , text-align , color are CSS properties.

Output:

example-explaining-css-syntax

Key Points to Compare SCSS vs CSS

  • SCSS is more expressive: SCSS uses fewer lines of code than CSS, which makes the code load faster.
  • Nested syntax: standard CSS doesn't support nesting. There is no way to write a class inside another one. As the project expands, this leads to readability problems and an undesirable structure.SCSS supports nested syntax.
  • SCSS contains advanced and modified features.
  • Syntax: The syntax of SCSS uses indentations, which are not present in CSS.
  • SCSS enables the user to write better inline documentation. Although CSS has flexible commenting options, any competent developer will prefer SCSS's inline documentation. The lines of code are self-explanatory, thanks to inline documentation.
  • Unlike CSS, which lacks nesting and variables, SCSS allows us to extend the code's functionality.
  • Customizing Bootstrap: SCSS helps in customizing Bootstrap 4.
  • Mathematical Operations: SCSS allows us to do simple calculations inside our code using math operators.

SCSS Vs CSS: Head to Head Comparison

ParametersSCSSCSS
Meaning and DefinitionSCSS is a more evolved and advanced form of the CSS language. It is a preprocessor language, and we need to compile it into the CSS language.CSS is a scripting language used for styling various web pages.
Lines of CodeIt uses fewer lines of code than CSS.CSS makes extensive use of lines of code.
FunctionsIt consists of advanced functions.It consists of basic functions.
Rules for nestingSCSS supports the nesting rules.The standard CSS does not assign various nested rules.
DesignSCSS is a special file in a SASS program that we need to write in the Ruby language.CSS is a styling language that enables us to develop, design, and style various web pages.
LanguageWe use the SCSS in the Ruby language.We commonly use CSS in JavaScript and HTML languages.
SyntaxFollows a more structured syntax with additional features.Follows a plain-text syntax.
MixinsAllows you to create reusable code snippets.Does not provide this functionality.
File ExtensionUses the .scss file extension.Uses the .css file extension.
CompilationSCSS files must be preprocessed into standard CSS files.CSS files are interpreted by web browsers directly.
Advanced FeaturesSCSS contains all features of CSS and more, making it a preferable choice for developers.Lacks many of the advanced features present in SCSS.
VariablesOffers the use of variables to shorten and simplify code.Does not allow the use of variables.

Advantages of SCSS

The advantages of SCSS are as follows:

  1. It helps users to write clean, quick, and less CSS code in a program construct.
  2. It contains fewer codes. Therefore, we can write CSS faster.
  3. SCSS offers nesting and significant functions, including color manipulation, math functions, etc.
  4. It consists of variables that help reuse the values.
  5. It is compatible with all CSS versions.
  6. The SASS has versatile online documentation.

Disadvantages of SCSS

The disadvantages of SCSS are as follows:

  1. Debugging: When trying to debug the code, preprocessors have a compilation stage that renders the CSS code lines worthless. However, debugging is significantly more challenging than programming, which is a significant downside.
  2. Understanding: Even though preprocessors have gained popularity, CSS still has a knowledge gap.
  3. Large CSS Files: The source files may be small, but the generated CSS may be enormous.
  4. Loss of benefits: The benefits of the browser's built-in element inspector may be lost while using SASS.

Advantages of CSS

The advantages of CSS are as follows:

  1. Consistency: CSS creates a consistent structure that web designers can apply to other pages.
  2. Easy to use: It is easy to learn CSS and facilitates website creation. Codes are all on one page, so editing or improving the lines does not require going through multiple pages.
  3. Speed: An average website uses two or more pages of code. With CSS, that's not the issue, so the website database remains uncluttered, preventing website loading delays.
  4. Multiple Browser Support: It is compatible with most modern web browsers.
  5. Transfer Size: It decreases the size of the file transfer. As a result, the file transfer happens quickly.
  6. Web-Page Crawl: CSS facilitates the website's SEO. It is simpler for the search engine to locate the website in the search results when CSS is included in the web pages.

Disadvantages of CSS

The disadvantages of CSS are as follows:

  1. Different versions: There are numerous versions of CSS, which makes CSS confusing to use, especially for beginners.
  2. Fragmentations: With CSS, it's possible that what functions in one browser won't work in another. Because of this, web developers must evaluate the program's compatibility by running it on several browsers.
  3. Complications: CSS might become a bit complicated if we use third-party tools.
  4. Lack of Security: Since CSS follows an open text format, it lacks an internal security framework that prevents it from being overridden. Anyone can modify the CSS file by accessing its read and write operations.
  5. Cross-Browser Issues: Initial CSS updates are easy to implement on a website from the developer's perspective. After making the changes, the user must confirm compatibility if the CSS has the same altering effects across all browsers.

Conclusion

  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a stylesheet language used to describe the visual presentation of documents written in HTML.
  • CSS allows control over layout, color, and font separately from content.
  • CSS is widely compatible with most browsers.
  • There are different levels of CSS, each introducing new features, including CSS1, CSS2, and CSS3.
  • SCSS, or Sassy Cascading Style Sheets, is a preprocessor scripting language that extends CSS.
  • SCSS provides advanced features like nesting and variables that standard CSS lacks.
  • SCSS is compiled into CSS before it’s rendered by browsers.
  • While SCSS can make the code more concise, the loading speed of the resulting CSS depends on its size and optimizations.
  • SCSS syntax resembles that of CSS, using braces ({ }), while the original Sass syntax relies on indentation.

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