The CSS Float Property

As the proud owner of a shiny website, you won’t want to leave yourself in a position where your site becomes a burden to you. Unfortunately, sometimes a lack of patience or knowledge when making coding a website can lead to problems with future maintenance. There are also some cases where certain designs just do not handle some types of coding very well.

The CSS float property is one of these exact issues. It gives you the chance to float an image into a specific part of the website, allowing text and the like to float around it. This can be useful, of course, for creating certain effects –but if used incorrectly, it can become a bit of a nightmare.
Yes, float does have specific uses in the web development world BUT it has to be used in specific instances. Unfortunately, many designers simply don’t do this and it can leave websites looking cheap, especially on larger displays, and make future maintenance frustrating. A fine alternative to float is inline-block, and it works the majority of the time, doing the exact same job you wanted with float, without the headache that comes with!
An image which is floating left will stay to the left side of the page, with all text appearing on its right. This can be useful for certain designs, and will look quite cool when used in the right context. When used effectively, a floated image gives context to the words on the page, allowing your page to flow much better.

However, it can cause significant problems with the overall layout of the site as mentioned above. For example, here are some of the most common times that float will be used on a web page:

  • Creating a unique web layout that is going to be made almost entirely of images – ala Windows 8
  • Getting the parameters just right in small sections of the website like a user panel
  • Floating any form of image, paragraph, division or list (presuming your design can handle it)

However, you shouldn’t start messing around with float if you aren’t 100% sure how your website should look in the end. Although some pages are created entirely from using the float property to manipulate the design, others feel less comfortable trying such a maneuver – trying to design this yourself without the relevant experience is going to cause you a lot of problems.

You need to get the widths and percentages absolutely bang on, and this can take hours of work and practice. Therefore, you should get used to using float as a tiny helper for just magnifying and perfecting little changes to your site. It’s far too delicate a tool to be used commonly and leaves your website open to being an absolute minefield later for technicians looking to optimize your page.

If you still need some help learning or trying to use the float property , we can help. Design Web offers not only websites for your business, event, school, or group, we also offer training and classes in web development.

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