By Craig Cook
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That semicolon is important to separate multiple declarations, but if there’s only one declaration in the rule or if it’s the last declaration in a series, the terminating semicolon is optional. It’s not a bad idea to get in the habit of including a semicolon at the end of every declaration, even when there’s only one, just to play it safe. If your CSS doesn’t conform to this basic structure and syntax—if you forget the closing brace or the colon separating a property from its value, for example—the entire rule or even the entire style sheet might fail.
You can also combine all three methods—inline, embedded, and external—to style your web pages, although it’s rarely advisable. If just one page on your site needs some additional rules, you might choose to include an embedded style sheet within that document alone. You may even, very rarely, want to call out one element for special treatment and use an inline style for just that element. In almost every case, external style sheets are the best approach: they eliminate presentational markup, improve a site’s performance, and are much easier to maintain.
Thankfully, you’ll rarely need to calculate a selector’s numeric specificity value if you just remember these few rules: • A universal selector isn’t specific at all. • An element selector is more specific than a universal selector. • A class or pseudo class selector is more specific than an element selector. • An ID selector is more specific than a class or pseudo class. • Properties in an inline style attribute are most specific of all. Specificity is also cumulative in combined and descendant selectors.