Difference between CSS and SCSS: Who wins?
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What’s the Difference between CSS and SCSS? Is SASS the same as CSS? Which is better CSS or SCSS? What to use CSS or SCSS? We will try to answer all of these in this article.

But first, let’s start with the introduction, CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. It is a language used to define the layout, fonts, colors, and other visual components of an HTML or XML document’s presentation.

Web designers can use CSS to apply styles to several pages at once and produce layouts for their websites that are consistent and aesthetically pleasing. CSS styles HTML elements by applying styles to them, finding the specific components to style using selectors, and defining the elements’ appearance using properties.

SCSS stands for Sassy CSS, and it is a preprocessor scripting language that is used to produce CSS style sheets. Since SCSS is a superset of CSS, any legitimate CSS code is likewise legitimate in SCSS. However, SCSS has extra capabilities like variables, nesting, and mixins that make the process of creating style sheets more organized and effective.

Is SASS the same as CSS?

You may have questions if SASS is the same as CSS. CSS and SCSS are related but not the same. A styling language called CSS is used to design and format web pages. The preprocessor scripting language SCSS, on the other hand, gets compiled into CSS.

Some factors differentiating CSS and SCSS:

Although CSS and SCSS are related, there are several key differences between the two

  • Syntax: Because CSS has a flat syntax, each rule is typed on a separate line. The nested syntax of SCSS, on the other hand, enables developers to group their code into blocks and increase readability.
  • Features: CSS is less flexible than SCSS because it only provides a small number of features. All of the CSS features are included in SCSS, but it also adds extra features like variables, nesting, functions, and operators that are absent from normal CSS.
    • Nesting: SCSS allows nesting while CSS does not. Developers can put related styles together using nesting, which makes code more modular and simpler to maintain.Variables: The ability to declare variables in SCSS enables programmers to reuse data across multiple lines of code. This feature is not present in CSS.Functions: SCSS features more sophisticated functions, enabling programmers to write code with more intricate logic. CSS only has fundamental features.Operators: Using operators to carry out mathematical calculations within the code is one advantage of using SCSS. When determining values for attributes like width, height, and margin, this might be extremely helpful.
  • Compilation: Developers directly write CSS files, which browsers understand. On the other hand, CSS files are created from SCSS files before the browser can understand them. This implies that processing SCSS files is required before they can be used, perhaps adding a step to the development process.
  • Readability: SCSS encourages correct rule nesting, which improves the readability and maintainability of the code. On the other hand, when the project gets bigger, CSS might be challenging to read and manage.
  • Resources: There are huge community behind both CSS and SCCS, but CSS resources are more easily available. You can find tons of free CSS templates for any kind of niche and industry, which gives an advantage to CSS users.
body {
    background-color: red;
}

#about {
    background-color: green;
    padding: 2px; 
}

#about h1 {
    color: white;
    text-align: justify;
}
#about p {
    color: red;
    text-align: start;
}
$theme_red: red;
$theme_white: white;
$theme_green: green;

body {
    background-color: $theme_red;

}

#about {
    background-color: $theme_green;
    h1 {
        color: $theme_white;
        text-align: justify;
    }
    p {
        color: $theme_red;
        text-align: start; 
    }
}

Which is better CSS or SCSS?

It has been years since CSS has been the developer’s choice of web development language. However, its use has considerably decreased with the creation of SASS. Since SCSS is an upgraded form of CSS, it is now more frequently utilized.

There is no certain answer to which is superior when choosing between CSS and SCSS. In the end, it comes to the specific requirements and likings of the project or developer. Some points to consider when deciding which one is better:

  • Complex projects requiring a lot of style and organization are better suited for SCSS. Large quantities of code can be managed and maintained more easily with CSS thanks to its support for variables, nesting, and complex functions.
  • CSS is used repeatedly and has been around for a while, many developers are familiar with its syntax. However, SCSS offers a more contemporary syntax that is simpler to read and write, making it a viable option for novice developers.
  • The development procedure can take longer if SCSS is used because it must first be compiled into CSS. However, this can be reduced by automating the compilation process with programs like Gulp or Grunt.
  • Using SCSS can assist in maintaining consistency and organization in the code when several developers are working on the same project. Because it uses nesting and variables, it may be simpler for team members to comprehend and change each other’s code.

Comparison table for CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and SCSS (Sassy CSS)

FeatureCSSSCSS
SyntaxVanilla CSSSuperset of CSS with enhanced syntax
File Extension.css.scss or .sass
Comments/* This is a comment */// This is a comment or /* Comment */
VariablesNot supportedSupports variables using $
NestingNot supportedSupports nesting of selectors
PartialsNot supportedSupports partials (importing files)
MixinsNot supportedSupports mixins for reusable styles
InheritanceNot supportedSupports inheritance with @extend
Control DirectivesNot supportedSupports @if, @else, @for, @each, etc.
Math OperationsNot supportedSupports mathematical operations
FunctionsNot supportedSupports custom functions
CompatibilityWidely supported and understoodRequires compilation before use
Browser SupportSupported by all browsersRequires compilation, compatible with major browsers
Learning CurveEasier to learn due to simplicityRequires understanding of additional features, but not significantly complex
Community SupportExtensive community support and resourcesGrowing community, especially among front-end developers
Use CasesStandard styling for web pagesLarge projects with complex styling requirements, especially in combination with frameworks like Sass or Compass

It’s important to note that SCSS is a superset of CSS, meaning that any valid CSS code is also valid SCSS code. This allows developers to gradually adopt SCSS in their projects without needing to rewrite existing CSS. Additionally, SCSS files need to be compiled into regular CSS before being interpreted by browsers, while standard CSS is interpreted directly by browsers.

What to use CSS or SCSS?

Whether to use CSS or SCSS depends on the specific needs of your project and your personal preferences as a developer. Both CSS and SCSS are valuable tools for styling and designing web pages. Choosing which one to use depends on your project’s complexity, your personal preferences, and the tools and resources available to you.

The following factors can be considered when deciding which one to use:

  • The complexity of your project: Using CSS might be adequate if your project is reasonably straightforward, has only a few pages, and uses minimal styling. However, SCSS can be a better option if your project is complicated and needs a lot of styling, organizing, and upkeep.
  • Understanding of syntax: If you are already familiar with CSS syntax then using it might be a better option and don’t want to invest the effort in learning another language. However, SCSS can be a better option if you want a more contemporary and simplified syntax or if you’re familiar with other programming languages like Ruby.
  • Compilation time and build tools: Before SCSS can be utilized, it must first be compiled into CSS. This may not be a big deal if you’re familiar with build tools like Gulp or Grunt. However, CSS can be a better option if you wish to keep your development process simple and uncomplicated.
  • Team cooperation: The usage of nesting, operators, advanced functions, and variables in SCSS can help maintain order and uniformity in the code if you’re working together on a project with multiple engineers. However, CSS can be adequate if you’re working alone or in a small team.

In conclusion, SCSS offers more sophisticated capabilities and syntax that can ease the management and maintenance of complicated projects, whereas CSS is a well-known and extensively used styling language. It might not be required for smaller applications, though, as it needs additional setup and configuration.

So, before deciding between CSS and SCSS, it’s crucial to carefully analyze the project’s requirements. The choice should ultimately be based on what will work best for your particular project and desired results.