It’s time to start learning Sass

sass and wordpress

If you haven't heard my talk from Los Angeles, I'll give you the short version: things will continue to get easier, faster, and more automated. If you haven't heard my talk from Pressnomics, I'll give you the short version: To grow and excel, you'll need to keep a learning posture.

There, I saved you more than an hour.

Why am I starting out this post with those two statements? Well, because if you code WordPress websites, things are going to be changing again – and while things are going to get easier and faster, it will mean that you're going to have to start learning again.

The big upcoming change is the introduction of a CSS pre-processor.

What is a CSS pre-processor?

You know what CSS is, right? It's the text (some people call it code) that lets you describe how you want your content and site to look. From making text bold, to turning it red, to aligning it to the right side of the page—all of that is CSS code. Designers and developers alike have learned and adopted CSS as the way to style content.

So what is a CSS pre-processor? It's a way to write that text in a different way (syntax) that will then be run thru an engine (the pre-processor) to create CSS.

Why use it? WordPress & Sass

So this sounds like an interesting automated solution, but why would we want to use it?

Simply because it helps you automate work. It lets you use variables to make things easier and faster. And it even lets you do more advanced stuff (like conditional logic and nesting).

But there's another reason I'm telling you about it—as Sarah Gooding writes—it's being adopted in WordPress 3.8. And that means more and more people are going to start using it. And if that's the case, the bar is getting raised for everyone.

Resources to start learning Sass

Now, I know some of you are thinking, “seriously, I was just getting comfortable with what I knew…now I have to start all over again, learning new stuff?”—I feel your pain. But this is the world we all live in. And I know you can learn it.

So here are a few resources to help you:

You can do it!

I'll tell you the truth. I was the last person to learn CSS. I mean, seriously. It took me about two years after it was introduced for me to finally figure it out and start using it. That was a long time ago and you would have thought that I would have learned my lesson about the inevitable need to keep learning.

But the truth is that Sass has been around for a while already. I've known about it for at least a year or two. And I've still not adopted it. So I'm right there with you. But you know what? It's coming. Eventually we'll all know it.

So let's just buckle down and dive in (two different metaphors) and recognize that even if we're laggards, it'll be worth learning.