Rate Your CSS Skill Level: Final Version & Poll

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Chris Coyier on (Updated on )

There was lots of great feedback from the rough draft model of the CSS Skill Levels. I have tried to take everyones ideas into account and rework things. The biggest consensus was that there needs to be another level between either 3 & 4, or 4 & 5. My solutions was to expand to a 6 level system and make and effort to space out the levels a little more evenly.


So here is the finished CSS Skill Level chart! You’ll notice I have added a poll to the sidebar as well, so you can assess yourself and then vote in the poll. (RSS Readers will have to jump over and vote, sorry!).

  • I’ve heard of CSS, it is used in web design.
  • I have downloaded and used a CSS template before.
  • I have poked around in CSS files making small changes like changing colors and removing underlines from links.
  • I understand that the purpose of CSS is keeping design and content separate, to the highest extent that is possible.
  • I have made extensive modifications to a CSS template.
  • I have used a WYSIWYG editor to create CSS web page.
  • I have a basic understanding of CSS layout techniques.


  • I have designed a reasonably complex website from scratch using only CSS for layout.
  • I have a solid understanding of the structure of CSS, the CSS box model, and CSS positioning.
  • I understand how to use float and deal with it’s quirks.
  • I have a basic understanding that different browsers render some CSS differently and that needs to be accounted for and tested.
  • I have a growing collection of CSS resources to draw from.
  • I do not use tables for layout whatsoever anymore. I understand that tables are for tabular data, not page layout.


  • I have designed and coded a large number of CSS web sites. I can convert a design from any format into a CSS layout: Photoshop, Illustrator, napkin drawings, etc.
  • I am completely comfortable writing and editing CSS by hand.
  • I have a strong understanding of the cascading part of CSS. Particularly how some some CSS properties do, some don’t, and some depend on how the value is declared.
  • I have a solid understanding of cross-browser CSS. I know how to use browser specific CSS statements and delclare browser specific stylesheets.
  • I know and have tried some CSS hacks and understand the advantages and disadvantages of using them.
  • I have a strong understanding of the different sizing values available in CSS (e.g. em, px, %, pt, “small”, etc.) and in what situations each make the most sense.
  • I can quickly troubleshoot and solve CSS problems.
  • I have a great collection of tools and resources at my disposal for inspiration, debugging, or reference.


  • I feel like I could tackle any design idea with CSS.
  • I can do pixel-perfect cross-browser conversions of designs into CSS websites.
  • I can visualize markup structure easily, just by looking at a design.
  • I have utilized additional web technologies to expand the possibilities and break through the limitations of CSS.
  • I have my own CSS framework I use, complete with my own customized CSS reset.
  • I have a strong understanding of advanced CSS like pseudo classes, pseudo elements, and attribute selectors.
  • I keep up to date on browser support and development progress.


  • I am involved with the future of CSS specifications or support.
  • I am a CSS Celebrity.
  • I’ve written books, given seminars, taught classes, knew CSS since she was a little girl, etc.
  • I don’t need to do testing, I just know.