Table of Content

The Importance of a CSS Reset: How to Use, Why You Need It and Where To Find One


The Importance of a CSS Reset: How to Use, Why You Need It and Where To Find One
The Importance of a CSS Reset

The Importance of a CSS Reset: How to Use, Why You Need It and Where To Find One

The Importance of a CSS Reset. When you look around at websites and applications, it’s abundantly clear that we are in the midst of a digital design revolution. Websites no longer just have simple layouts with text placed over images; they are now immersive experiences that combine visuals, audio, and interactive elements to create an online experience as unique as the visitor. In this new era of digital design, designers must take into account how a visitor might interact with their site or application. If you’ll remember from your days working in HTML, every element on a webpage has its own special set of attributes called CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). CSS gives developers control over how each element looks by assigning values such em>content here/em> for words or strong>content here/strong> for bold words. 

These individual styles help to align the visual appearance of all website elements and give them the same general look without needing to recode every element separately with each change. For example: img src="image_url"> will not always appear with a specific type of border unless there is a code like this somewhere: img { border: 2px solid #ccc; } Rest assured that this article won’t be heavy on technical jargon like what CSS stands for or what cascading means… we get enough of that on our coding assignments! But instead, we will dive into why you would need to use a CSS reset file, where you can find one, and how to implement one.

What is a CSS Reset?

A CSS reset is a single file that resets all CSS styles to a common baseline. You can think of it as a clean slate that tells browsers to revert to the default settings for all elements. While this may sound like an inefficient process, it is extremely useful for several reasons.

Why You Need to Use a CSS Reset

There are a few reasons why you should use a CSS reset file on your pages. Design - One of the most common reasons designers use a CSS reset is to simplify the site’s design. Some websites have a unique look and style that really stands out. However, these are often custom designs using a lot of CSS code to set up specific style rules for each individual element. A CSS reset removes all of these custom rules and replaces them with one simple baseline style. This allows the design to remain consistent across all browsers and devices, while still maintaining its overall look. 

Accessibility - Another important reason designers use CSS reset files is to make websites more accessible to all visitors. When CSS is used to assign a specific style rule to each element, it is done in a way that only the designer knows what code was used. This can make it difficult for people with disabilities to use the website as it is difficult to determine how to override the default CSS settings. A CSS reset file provides a common baseline for all elements, which makes it easy to understand and override the default settings.

Where to Find a CSS Reset

So, now you know why you want to use a CSS reset, but you might be wondering where to find one. While you can always create your own custom CSS reset, it is usually recommended to use one of the many pre-made CSS resets that are freely available online. The most popular CSS reset file is the Normalize.css file created by the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium). You can also find CSS resets on frameworks like Bootstrap and Foundation.

How to Implement a CSS Reset

Now that you know why you want to use a CSS reset and where to find one, the next step is to implement it on your website. While it is easy to use a CSS reset, you do need to make sure you add the reset code to the very beginning of your CSS code. This ensures that all new CSS styles are reset and that any existing CSS rules will remain intact. One important thing to remember is that a CSS reset file can reset the styles of any element, not just the styles you want to reset. For example, in CSS reset file may reset the style of a h1> tag to have no margin, padding, or a normal font size. If you have a h1> tag that has a custom styling, such as an orange background color, then the CSS reset will override that styling and make the h1> tag have a white background. It’s important to understand that a CSS reset will make all elements appear as if they are set to the browser’s default CSS settings.

2 Recommended Resets

While we’ve already covered the general idea of a CSS reset, let’s take a look at how these three recommended resets work. Normalize.css - Normalize.css is one of the most popular CSS resets available online. This CSS reset aims to make all browsers render pages more consistently and make it easier for people with disabilities to access websites. Normalize.css does this by making browsers render pages as if they are reading a NON-standard document, without any CSS applied. 

This means the browser will render all tags correctly and will indicate to the user where they are on a page, even if there is no CSS applied. Eric Mayer’s CSS Reset - Eric Mayer’s CSS Reset is a very popular CSS reset that has been around for many years. The Eric Mayer’s CSS Reset is a good choice for designers who want to start clean and work from there. This CSS reset will reset font sizes, margins, and line heights, but it will leave other design elements intact. This allows designers to add their own custom styles while removing any unwanted browser defaults. 


The significance of a CSS reset cannot be overstated. While it may seem like just a simple file that removes a bit of code from your pages, the benefits are huge. A CSS reset can improve a website’s design, accessibility, and even speed. With so many advantages, it’s easy to see why you should use a CSS reset on all of your pages. Now that you understand what a CSS reset is and why you need one, all that’s left is to find one and implement it on your site.