The separation of content and style is a philosophy that is strongly encouraged in design, and especially web design these days. The main idea is that this allows great flexibility. Colors and styles can be changed without affecting actual content — text or photos. Different styles can be applied depending on how a visitor is viewing, such as via computer, mobile phone, or as a printed out version of a page.
It’s tricky to fully put into actual use, though, and most web designs I’ve seen or created mix style with content at least a small amount.
The one exception is blogs — especially template-based blogs hosted on providers like typepad.com and wordpress.com. In this case, the content must be separate from the style, because the front-end content is constantly changing, being updated and rearranged by the blogger.
Additionally, in order to maintain full functionality offered by these services, the back-end, behind the scenes content also has to stay the same (for the most part), and can’t be changed or accessed by a designer at all.
This was the challenge I faced in redesigning the blog from my previous post to match the rest of my client’s (totally custom built) website. I learned quite a bit more than I knew before about CSS styling during this project. Perhaps I will post some tips on what I discovered. In general, a success.