50 Excellent CSS3 Techniques and Tutorials for Beautiful Design

• 18 minutes READ

CSS3 has got a huge potential to create very elaborate and complicated details by strictly using  CSS and no images. It can carry out a lot of functions as it is based on motion techniques. Many designers all over the world believe that CSS3 is a technique which has unbelievable potentiality which will be used to create wonderful designs in the years to come. At present, it is not being used varied all over the world due to a number of limitations – obsolete browsers being one of them.

Many say that it would be the application of the future as it can improve the efficiency of the workflow by substituting waste workarounds as it was once used in the case of Internet Explorer 6. In the last few years we have seen many web developers who have talked about CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) and the possible designs it can create with the help of powerful animations. With the rise of other web technologies it will create desired results in the fields of designing or managing browsers.

It has many features which are not compatible with the old web browsers and hence it will require some present day internet browsers like Internet Explorer 7 & 8, Chrome, Safari and Firefox to use the CSS3. CSS3 Tutorials can be used in developing the following techniques:

  • It can be used to create multiple backgrounds
  • Developing and drawing border images
  • Handling of opacity
  • Used in text- shadowing and box sizing
  • Used for support of columns of many different web layouts.

If we go back on time we will realize how far we have come from the time of Adobe’s Flash and JavaScript, which were used to create some cool designs. Then came the new version of CSS and it was CSS3 that has transformed the world of animation with its transition features. It is the markup language that has many other applications that can be used for designing web pages that are written in XHTML or HTML. Whereas on the other hand, CSS is made for primary separation of documents that are written in simple markup languages. The content accessibility provides elements which can differ from fonts to layouts and colors. To conclude, CSS3 tutorials and techniques will bring new age animations and designs in the lap of present day markup language users.

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CSS3 Tutorials and Techniques

CSS3 Tutorials and Techniques

Create an Audio Player in HTML5 & CSS3

It shows a simple way of crafting a live audio player that has a smart design and a bunch of standard controllers such as play/stop button, mute or progress bar. It is powered by MediaElement.js and sits on top of a classic HTML/CSS structure. The tutorial takes up about thirty minutes and requires some basic knowledge.

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Filter Functionality with CSS3

Mary Lou leverages regular pseudo-class, sibling combinator, and some other CSS3 properties to build an elegant and functional portfolio section. It is based on a sound foundation and offers tools for sorting out data by criteria that are accompanied by pleasant visual effects.

CSS3 Navigation Menu with Notification Badges

CSS3 Navigation Menu with Notification Badges

Serj has written this small yet helpful tutorial for complete newbies in web development. Using common properties of CSS3 and HTML5, he is managed to create a neat and sleek, streamlined navigation bar with extra functionality. The procedure has been described in the article. It includes five steps that are easy to repeat and follow. The source is also available for download.

Thumbnail Proximity Effect with jQuery and CSS3

Mary Lou is eager to teach you how to produce a simple yet eye-pleasing effect that improves surfing through portfolio pieces and enhances user experience. As usual, the concept is driven by an unbeatable combination of valid HTML markup, intricate style sheet and dynamic JS script. However, not everything is done from scratch; the animated part is handled by jQuery Proximity plugin by James Padolsey.

Fullscreen Background Image Slideshow with CSS3

The technique that is described in the tutorial is widely used to enrich modern website designs. It allows works to speak pretty loud and grab the whole attention. The author shows how to take advantage of the powerful possibilities of CSS3 such as smooth transitions and fancy animations. The drawback is that the component experiences some troubles in old browsers.

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Create CSS3 Pricing Tables

CSS3 Pricing Tables

Create CSS3 Pricing Tables that will look bright, energetic, and engaging under the strict guidance of Valeriu Timbuc. It will be also informative and intuitive thanks to compactly arranged content that is vigilantly broken into small portions and bolstered by corresponding icons. The tutorial has eight main steps including the section dedicated to issues concerning IE.

CSS3 Lightbox

As the nameplate stated, the solution does not require any help from JavaScript to handle transparency and smooth transitions. It is realized by new features of CSS3. The pseudo-class ‘:target’ does all the heavy lifting: showing images and offering an unobtrusive navigation through them. In the article you will find three versions of the portfolio:

  • one with a scale-up/fade-in animation;
  • one with a scale-down/fade-in animation;
  • and one with a fade-in animation and navigation.

Slopy Elements with CSS3

The tutorial describes how to turn a classic layout into asymmetrical one and add some spice to the boring structure. Mary Lou gives you cues for creating angled shapes, diagonal lines and non-straight elements via CSS3 and properly incorporating them into design. There are two fine examples that are clearly illustrated.

Item Blur Effect with CSS3 and jQuery

The artist gets exciting with some dramatic effects that can be achieved with the help of CSS3. They are used to direct the attention to selected elements. The walkthrough is divided into three parts that cover such vital constituents as HTML markup, CSS styling and JavaScript sprucing up.

Splash and Coming Soon Page Effects with CSS3

The author encourages you to test your limits and explore vast possibilities of CSS3. This small tutorial is intended to demonstrate how to build fantastic and mesmerizing splash pages for producing strong first impression and coming soon pages for drawing attention to upcoming products/events. All the effects are generated by CSS3.

Typography Effects with CSS3 and jQuery

The manual guides you through the simple routine of creating visually-appealing effects to enhance typeface and make headings look more impressive and bold. Relying on a popular plugin called Lettering.js, you are going to build a set of seven various solutions from diagonal ribbon-themed version to a divine version with a circular vibe. While HTML5 and CSS3 are responsible for the structure and design, jQuery handles the non-static side of the concept.

Animated Buttons with CSS3

Mary Lou has carried out several experiments with CSS3 in order to make CTA look more clickable and attention-grabbing. The article leads you through a marvelous transformation from a simple link to a nice rectangular-shaped button that is equipped with different styles, hover effects, and active states.

Original Hover Effects with CSS3

Alessio Atzeni describes a practical method of creating ten interesting and beautiful hover effects that can be applied to various elements including images. Each one is built with the help of CCS3 transitions and animations. He also explains how to add descriptions to thumbnails and smoothly reveal them on demand thereby making the project more informative and dynamic.

Creative CSS3 Animation Menus

Here you will find ten fantastic examples that can be used in various projects. From an elegant and exquisite menu based on a vertical line stripe layout to a stylish and sophisticated set of round-shaped links, Mary Lou offers a broad range of options. The post briefly demonstrates the technique that is realized via different CSS3 properties.

Circle Navigation Effect with CSS3

The article points out how to build a circular navigation menu that leverages images and has fancy hover effect obtained by CSS3. Since the author does not go into many details, concisely covering only necessary steps, it is highly recommended to download a source file and clarify all the controversial issues.

How to Create a CSS3 Dropdown Menu

Valeriu Timbuc familiarizes readers with a simple approach, which involves standard features of HTML5 and CSS3. The article is quite short so that it does not take much time; nevertheless, it illuminates some basic methods that can come in handy in future projects. It is suitable for novices.

Create Calendar using jQuery and CSS3

Having used a crisp and sophisticated calendar design taken from Futurico UI Pro by Vladimir Kudinov, Valeriu Timbuc is managed to craft a working widget that can benefit numerous projects. The walkthrough of this transformation is broken into five small stages that gently lead you from a starting point to an end and supply with all the necessary explanations.

Create an Image Slider using jQuery and CSS3

If you need a lightweight, sleek and professional image slider with an intuitive interface and a dozen of transition effects, then Valeriu Timbuc will teach you how to create one in less than an hour. Everybody who has basic knowledge of HTML5, CSS3 and JS and a Nivo Slider jQuery Script at the fingertips are welcome to join.

Create Login Form with CSS3 and jQuery

Although the tutorial is claimed to employ some advanced techniques and require a high degree of skills, yet, thanks to thorough explanations and clean code snippets with comments, any newbie will be able to get an understanding of the cause just by carefully following all the steps.

How to Create Accordion Menu (CSS3+jQuery)

This is an improved version of the tutorial dedicated to crafting accordion menu only with CSS3. This time, the author has taken into account issues with browser compatibility by using jQuery for keeping the component away from crashes. He concisely covers the main steps, so that to grasp the idea completely, you need to read the original article.

Create Content Accordion in Pure CSS3

Valeriu Timbuc is a master of injecting life into static designs taken from popular UI sets. In the post, he will show you how to bring energy into an exquisite accordion design created by Vladimir Kudinov that works with both images and text relying only on CSS3. To be more precise, the realization is centered around a proper utilization of a ‘:target’ selector.

Create a Stylish Image Content Slider in Pure CSS3

The tutorial is written to encourage users to experiment with the latest features of CSS3. It walks through an incredible transformation of two ordinary unordered lists into a marvelous and good-looking component with a proper interface and beautiful transitions.

Slide Down Box Menu with jQuery and CSS3

Mary Lou explains a mechanism of creating a non-standard sliding navigation menu with a boxy vibe, accompanying images and a lovely bouncing effect. The latter is achieved through jQuery Easing Plugin. As befits the tutorial is broken into three parts that clear up the markup, styling, and JavaScript role.

Awesome Cufonized Fly-out Menu with jQuery and CSS3

The author formulates vital steps of the method. She provides detailed explanations, helpful remarks and code snippets. You will prototype a full-screen menu that is based on a simple typography. Each link has a bold appearance and an accompanying panel with extra content that slides out. Here, CSS3 is used for the styling, and JavaScript is for adding effects.

Beautiful Photo Stack Gallery with jQuery and CSS3

The walkthrough guides through the routine of creating nice and sleek image gallery with a twist. You are going to build a sophisticated template that lays out the content (both images and text) into a grid structure and add smooth eye-pleasing transitions between slides. The component is charged with some magic produced by PHP. There are plenty of moments that need to be taken into account, so that the post is quite extensive, be ready to spend some precious time.

Speed Up with CSS3 Gradients

This original idea was brought to life by the guru of CSS3, Chris Coyier. The author dives into several types of gradients such as radial, linear and intricate repeated to achieve impressive results. The article was updated three times to comply with the changes. You can freely grab code snippets for each kind, get acquainted with browser support and explore a possible fallback.

CSS3 Progress Bars

This is another masterpiece from Chris Coyier. The artist has prototyped four lively progress bars that have a candy appearance and breathe with dynamics. They are also flexible; it means that they look great on different screen sizes. Follow the instructions to know how to create them from scratch or just download a source file.

CSS3 Loading Spinner

CSS3 Loading Spinner is an alternative way of tracking and visualizing progress status. It leverages looped circle and CSS3 potential. The author just quickly skips through the main points, giving you some hints how to achieve the same result at home. Read carefully and you will manage to get your mind around the concept.

Bubble Point Tooltips with CSS3 & jQuery

The tutorial focuses on imitating a tooltip design inspired by the contextual menus from OS X dock that gives off elegance and subtlety. By carefully following author’s steps that are clearly described in the article you will be able to create a dynamic replica. CSS, HTML, and JavaScript are the leading tools of the workflow.

CSS3-Only Tabbed Area

Chris Coyier ditches JavaScript and goes for CSS3. Although the solution seems to be a bit bold, yet the potential of the style sheet language allows achieving the desired result without sacrificing functionality. In just several steps you will be able to create a live version of a tab that works well in various browsers.

Bokeh with CSS3 Gradients

Divya Manian gets the most out of transparency property that is available in CSS3 gradients. The artist has conducted several experiments in order to obtain such a stunning outcome. An accompanying tutorial comprises a concise guideline that is broken into five major points. The demo runs without problems in the majority of the modern browsers.

Shiny Knob Control with jQuery and CSS3

Shiny Knob Control with jQuery and CSS3 looks highly realistic because of shiny surfaces and professionally treated textures. The supporting effects that let users twiddle it around strengthen the impression. The concept also works in mobile devices and tablets. To get to the bottom of the idea examine the walkthrough prepared by Martin Angelov. He thoroughly explains all the unclear moments.

Having Fun With CSS3: Spinning Newspapers

The post is aimed to stimulate readers on achieving the greatest output from the new possibilities of CSS3. The developer leverages Google web fonts, keyframe animation, a rendering of newspaper saved in PNG/JPEG formats, canvas elements, and JavaScript. You will find an accurate guide that shows you how to put all the stated above components together.

Creating a PHP and CSS3 Powered About Page

Creating a PHP and CSS3 Powered About Page is not so challenging and difficult when you follow the step-by-step instructions written by Martin Angelov. He explains how to build a template with some extra functionality and excellent design using a powerful and time-tested trio of PHP, HTML5, and CSS3. He highlights details and important factors.

Making a CSS3 Animated Menu

This is a quite short tutorial that touches basics of the web development. The artist delves into possibilities of CSS3 regarding transitions and effects in order to avoid utilization of JavaScript. While the method strongly relies on a ‘:target’ pseudo-class and several ‘:after’ elements, the design aesthetics is constructed through skillful manipulations with gradients, box shadows, multiple backgrounds and a solid HTML5 backbone.

Photobooth with PHP, jQuery and CSS3

The author illuminates an advanced technique that is based on jQuery, PHP, and Flash. Since the project enables visitors to take snapshots via camera, it simply can’t do without a helping hand of flash API and a wrapper provided by webcam.js. The article is quite interesting and informative; it is well-suited for newbies with some core competencies.

Better Check Boxes with jQuery and CSS

Martin Angelov offers a substitute for the boring and primitive default browser checkboxes that should work across various devices and platforms and use a fallback for saving the day when JavaScript fails. He carefully walks you through a regular procedure of sprucing up the UI components and a transformation of code snippet into an actual jQuery plugin.

Coding a Rotating Image Slideshow w/ CSS3 and jQuery

The tutorial exemplifies the rotation features available in CSS3. Not only does the article include explanations and pieces of code but also some visual clues presented via screenshots. Just by following explicit instructions, you are going to create a marvelous and dynamic component for displaying multimedia in less than an hour. The solution is based on a relatively plain HTML layout and a bunch of styling tricks.

Making Better Select Elements with jQuery and CSS3

The article is centered around the idea that drop-down lists should be elaborate and informative and look consistent across various devices. You will start with HTML part, then proceed to jQuery and finish with some CSS styling that puts everything in order.

CSS3 Animated Bubble Buttons

The effect is obtained with the help of advanced CSS3 features such as multiple backgrounds and animations. It does not require any JavaScript, so that if you want to make this pack of button resistant to any situations, you should take care of a fallback. You can thoroughly examine the post or just download source and use it in your projects just by assigning the class name. The download file comprises buttons with four predefined skins and three sizes.

CSS3 Minimalistic Navigation Menu

The guide leads you through a workflow of building a practical navigation menu with smooth transitions and vibrant sprite-powered appearance that will run in various browsers without crashes. It nicely degrades in old versions and can be improved for future generations. The technique implies manipulations with XHTML and CSS. The latter handles the greater part of the concept.

BounceBox Notification Plugin With jQuery & CSS3

BounceBox Notification Plugin With jQuery & CSS3 showcases any content in an enjoyable way. Want to replenish your toolbox with such a useful instrument then follow the instructions that are given in the article. The developer describes the whole routine. Getting straight to the point, he points out the important details of the concept as well as specifies all the stages from building HTML markup to creating a fallback.

Carbon Fiber Signup Form With PHP, jQuery and CSS3

The solution is based on a progressive enhancement that makes the component appropriate for the majority of projects. Martin Angelov enlightens necessary steps of creating a form that will work even in IE6 and look splendid in modern browsers. You will begin with prototyping a simple version without using JavaScript and CSS and ending with a sophisticated variant that leverages Ajax, jQuery and fancy styling provided by the latest features of the CSS3.

Colorful Sliders With jQuery & CSS3

This is an in-depth and informative piece of writing that comprises lots of valuable stuff from the implementation of fundamental principles to inventive tricks. The author explains all the stages of a process, going into details. In the end, you will understand how to create your set of colorful range sliders and 3D dimensional dynamic histogram-themed bars.

Sweet AJAX Tabs With jQuery 1.4 & CSS3

Inspired by the idea of squeezing as much content as possible into one box and providing viewers with an intuitive and handy interface, Martin Angelov has created this fantastic component. He also supplies online audience with a small tutorial that sheds the light on the structure, styling, dynamic part produced by jQuery and Ajax, and a cache mechanism.

CSS3 Menu Navigation Effect

Alessio Atzeni examines three variants of the navigation menu. The first one is driven by CSS3 transitions; the second one utilizes smooth shifts and a mask class, and the third one derives benefits from transitions and animations. Each method is clearly described and explained. There are accompanying code snippets and comments of the author.

CSS3 Loading Animation Loop 2 Set

Much like the previous example, Alessio Atzeni does not stop on one option; he has built several ones. Together with the artist you will unlock CSS3 potential in terms of utilization of animations and transitions. Just by using customized cubic-Bezier function you will produce some original effects that can enrich any UI.

CSS3 with jQuery / Reverse Animation

This lightweight solution is an enhancement for any modern personal portfolio. It is powered by some high-end features of CSS3. Although it is fully supported only by Firefox, Safari, and Chrome, however, it can be quickly improved to meet the other browsers.

There is a supporting tutorial that is broken into five parts to effectively cover markup, basic CSS styling, traditional animation, reverse animation and jQuery part.

CSS3 Graph Animation

Although the dynamic chart looks incredible, yet it is not intended to be used in real projects. The aim of this article is to help you master the basic skills. Though, you can use the result as a starting point for building something more sophisticated and viable. The author superficially explains the method, focusing on manipulations with CSS properties. There are also lots of code snippets, so you can easily trace the logic.

CSS3 Skill Bar Animation

The effect is created on the top of a typical unordered list. The CSS3 performs a vital role, doing all the magic. The author concentrates on the style sheet; however, unfortunately, he does not give all the details, just drops subtle hints. The technique is not so difficult so that even newbie can grasp the idea.

CSS3 Loading Animation Loop

Along with the artist, you will craft three types of preloaders that are dynamic and attention-grabbing. There are no images, just pure CSS-based solution. Even beautiful neon touch is achieved through skillful manipulations with gradients. As usual, each example is briefly explained and equipped with pieces of code.

CSS3 Preloader Animation for only User Agent supports it

The tutorial is a continuation of the previous one. Last time the author overlooked browser compatibility so that in this article he is going to fix that. He shows you how to create a loading bar that works only in browsers with support for modern features; otherwise, the readers will contemplate a message. The concept leverages a standard structure and jQuery script.

CSS3 Loading Animation

The tutorial is quite easy to understand and repeat. There is no advanced and tricky routine, everything is primitive and straightforward. There is a basic markup that consists of a unordered list, a couple of DIVs, and a ton of CSS code.

CSS3 Tooltip with Animation NO jQuery

The key feature of this component is that it can be used in any project right away. Even though there are numerous users with browsers that do not support the animation, yet the tooltip will look elegant and sleek thanks to a well-thought-out fallback.

Alessio Atzeni prefers CSS to JavaScript, opting for a more lightweight and fast alternative. He has lifted the veil of the routine in the corresponding article.

CSS3 Navigation with Transitions

Taking advantage of pseudo-elements such as ‘:after’ and ‘:before’, the developer has skillfully assigned a small yet fancy animation to hover event that can be used to enrich menu links. Unfortunately, this pioneering trick works only in Firefox. Explore a tutorial to understand the logic.

CSS3 Hover Effects

The article discusses five interesting examples that unlock the tremendous potential of CSS3. The artist has created cool hover effects that can be applied to almost any DOM element. Note, there are some issues with a full browser compatibility and touch screen devices.

CSS3 Dropdown Menu

CSS3 Dropdown Menu by Alessio Atzeni is elegant, universal and reliable. The style sheet language rules the roost here so that everything is achieved through it. The author focuses more on the logic and a proper use of CSS3 properties, especially transitions. The tutorial is an excellent way to broaden the skills.


With the great power comes great responsibility. While CSS3 gives you an opportunity to create almost everything you need from intricate background patterns to 3D transformations, you should always bear in mind poor browser compatibility and bad cross-platform/device support. Techniques described in the tutorials are fresh and inspiring, yet they are not always reliable. Take care of fallbacks and follow the changes in technologies in order to actually put them into practice and get the most out of them.

Andrian Valeanu

Designmodo Founder.

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