If you want to control your website’s appearance, it is important to understand the way CSS documents work and how to fix broken ones.
What Does “CSS Errors” Mean?
Cascading Style Sheets files define the way HTML elements are displayed on the screen — the size, color, font, etc. CSS documents help browsers parse content and render it correctly. When they are broken, your content will be formatted differently than it was intended to be. The error means that URLs will contain CSS files that return 4xx or 5xx HTTP status codes.
What Triggers This Issue?
Here are some common causes:
- There are errors in CSS documents: even one unclosed bracket will trigger an issue.
- Recent changes to the code may have damaged it.
- You have external .css files, and the server is blocking the crawler.
- You have changed the text encoding and haven’t declared the encoding in your HTML. CSS files and HTML need to use the same encoding.
- There are problems with your browser caching: you have updated CSS files, but the browser shows an older version of the page.
- You have created custom CSS templates but made a mistake, and the format is not valid.
How To Check the Issue
There are various tools to spot errors in CSS files — for instance, an online W3C CSS validation service or CSS lint that checks and highlights any warnings and failures. You may also use your browser’s error console or any web developer tools to find basic bugs.
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Why Is This Important?
Broken CSS files will not apply the necessary styles to your pages, so the end-user will see content different from what you expect. It will lead to a poor user experience on your website that will entail a drop in your SEO rankings. You should solve the problem unless you want to experience layout and compatibility issues.
How To Fix the Issue
Replace broken CSS files with those ones that return 200 HTTP status codes or remove them.
What else should be considered to fix the problem:
- Try to clear your browser’s cache.
- If the page returns 5xx errors, the problem may be on the server: it’s not handling the traffic because it’s too slow or misconfigured. You should contact your hosting provider for help.
- In the case of the 404 HTTP status code, you may restore the .css file with an older link and edit it so it will lead to another CSS document.
- Enter your CSS code into a text editor and check the syntax up to the final semicolon. Sometimes you may miss an error if you’re using a ready-made template.
In addition, you may watch this video by Derek Banas to learn more tricks to help you deal with CSS files issues.