Css media queries are the cornerstone of responsive design and are what allows you to change your website to fit any screen size or device. There are many different media features you can use, so it’s important to understand what each one does and how they work together. This article will go over the basics of media queries and some of the more advanced ones.
A css media query is basically a set of rules that tell your website to apply different styles depending on the type of device being used to view it. There are a number of different conditions you can use in a media query, including screen size, orientation, width and height of the browser window, and even device capabilities like display type and color depth. There are also a few other logical operators you can use to combine these conditions and create complex conditions.
The main reason css media queries are so useful is that they let you conditionally apply your styles based on things like the users screen size, device type and capabilities. This allows you to build more responsive layouts that can be optimized for each type of device.
When you write a css media query you start with the @media at-rule and then add in your condition. The condition could be anything, but most of the time you will need to include some sort of media feature expression. This expression is usually something like a min, max, or an or, but it could be anything you want. This is what sets media queries apart from normal css. You can also use the symbol to separate media feature expressions.
There are lots of different media features you can use, but the most common are probably width and height. You can use either px or em for the width, but it is best to stick with em because it scales nicely when people zoom in their browser. You can also use a min-* and max-* expression to set your styles for screens smaller than or larger than a certain width.
Some of the more advanced media features are a bit more complicated to use, but they give you the power to do some pretty interesting things. The aural media feature, for example, lets you check for sound playback and the presence of microphones in a browser. This is useful if you are using HTML5 video on your site and need to make sure it works well on any device.
One of the more recent media features is prefers-reduced-data, which is a way to reduce resource usage by not sending all the font and image assets if you don’t think they are going to be needed. This is great for mobile sites where bandwidth can be limited. There is also a a media feature for adaptive streaming, which is more specifically targeted at video content. This will let you set different styles based on the available bandwidth.