CSS vs CSS3: Difference You Should Know

By | April 29, 2022

CSS is one of the pillars of front-end development, and it is a style sheet language. CSS is the acronym of Cascading Style Sheets. It deals with all the styling of the web pages. Whether it’s the background color of the web page, text style, or text color, CSS makes it possible to style web pages and enhance their overall appearance.

Additionally, it allows developers to become creative with the design and appearance of web pages. Also, CSS helps to make web pages visually appealing for visitors. Since the CSS is maintained by a developer community, it came up with only 2 new updates CSS2 and CSS3, where CSS3 is the latest version of CSS, and CSS2 was introduced 20 years ago.

In this article, we will be discussing the striking differences between CSS and CSS3. CSS vs CSS3 is a common debate topic among web developers, especially beginners. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

Difference between CSS vs CSS3

To understand how CSS and CSS3 are different from each other, you first need to get a quick overview of them.

What is CSS?

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets, which is used to style web pages, including the design of elements, web page layout, and display style. It is developed by W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), and it intends to solve the problem with the HTML individual line styling. When individual styling attributes were introduced in HTML 3.2 to help style HTML, there was a problem; developers have to use the style attribute at every single tag. To overcome this issue, CSS was developed and used extensively.

What is CSS3?

CSS3 is the latest version of Cascading Style Sheets. It comes with several new and advanced features, like rounded corner shadows, gradients, transition, and animations, that are not available in the older CSS versions. Also, it even has properties like JavaScript. Support for mobile development is one of the main strengths of CSS3, and it helps to create responsive designs that reduce the problem caused by the Adobe-Flash incompatibility on different devices.

CSS vs CSS3: Head to Head Comparison



It is a style sheet language that is used to design web pages. It is the newest version of CSS.

Responsive Designing

CSS does not allow the creation of responsive designs. In responsive designing, the web page of the website adjusts the page size and components according to the size of the devices and CSS3 provides this feature.

Mobile-Friendly Design

CSS designed webpages are not completely mobile-friendly CSS3 is more mobile-friendly

Modular Code

CSS does not follow the module-based code, it uses its all specifications directly. CSS3 uses all the old specifications of CSS However, all the specifications are divided into different modules, and that is how CSS3 uses the module coding approach.

Rounded Borders

CSS does not offer the rounded borders feature. CSS3 offers the rounded borders feature.

Bordered Images and Text Shadows

CSS does not support bordered images and text shadows. CSS3 supports bordered images as well as text shadows.

Multiple Background

CSS has to use a third-party module for enabling the multiple background feature. CSS3 comes with the built-in multiple background feature.

Fast Page Load

The loading speed of CSS-designed web pages is average. CSS3 allows pages to load faster as compared to CSS.


CSS uses JavaScript or Flash code for adding animations to a web page. CSS3 comes with built-in features like 2D and 3D transformation, which provides animation and transition effects. Also,  developers do not need to use JavaScript code for adding animations to web pages.

Colors and Images Effects

CSS has many colors and images effect features. CSS3 contains all the CSS effects, and also offers several new colors and images effects.


CSS3 is the latest version of CSS that is used widely. Anyone today working with CSS to style web pages is actually working with CSS3. Also, it has been quite a while since CSS3 has been released, and developers are leveraging its advanced features on a large scale to create visually appealing websites and web apps.

W3C, the creator of CSS, is working on the new version of CSS, which will be the successor of CSS3. It’s quite likely that we will witness the release of full-fledged CSS4 in the coming years.

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Author: Akhil Bhadwal

Creating and curating content for 7+ years now. I've worked for different organizations on various capacities and dealt with a wide range of content that includes both tech and non-tech.

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