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Getting Started With CSS Audits

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This week I wrote about conducting CSS audits to organize your code, keeping it clean and performant—resulting in faster sites that are easier to maintain. Now that you understand the hows and whys of auditing, let’s take a look at some more resources that will help you maintain your CSS architecture. Here are some I’ve recently discovered and find helpful.

Organizing CSS

  • Harry Roberts has put together a fantastic resource for thinking about how to write large CSS systems, CSS Guidelines.
  • Interested in making the style guide part of the audit easier? This Github repo includes a whole bunch of info on different generators.

Help from task runners

Do you like task runners such as grunt or gulp? Andy Osmani’s tutorial walks through using all kinds of task runners to find unused CSS selectors: Spring Cleaning Unused CSS Selectors.

Accessibility

Are you interested in auditing for accessibility as well (hopefully you are!)? There are tools for that, too. This article helps you audit your site for accessibility— it’s a great outline of exactly how to do it.

Performance

  • Sitepoint takes a look at trimming down overall page weight, which would optimize your site quite a bit.
  • Google Chrome’s dev tools include a built-in audit tool, which suggests ways you could improve performance. A great article on HTML5 Rocks goes through this tool in depth.

With these tools, you’ll be better prepared to clean up your CSS, optimize your site, and make the entire experience better for users. When talking about auditing code, many people are focusing on performance, which is a great benefit for all involved, but don’t forget that maintainability and speedier development time come along with a faster site.

About the Author

Susan Robertson

Susan Robertson is a front end developer working with Fictive Kin who focuses on CSS, style guides, responsive, and accessibility. In the past, she has worked with clients such as FiftyThree, Imprint, Cloud Four, and worked for Editorially, The Nerdery, and Cambia Health. When not actually writing code, she can be found writing about a wide variety of topics on her own site as well as contributing to A List Apart and The Pastry Box. When not staring at a screen, she reads comics and novels, cooks lots of yummy food, and enjoys her Portland neighborhood.

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