Do Psuedo Classes In Css Go Under The Main Class

CSS Programming

In my experience as a web developer, I’ve come across many questions regarding CSS and its various features. One commonly asked question is whether pseudo-classes in CSS should be placed under the main class. In this article, I will delve deep into this topic and share my insights.

First, let’s understand what pseudo-classes are. Pseudo-classes allow you to select elements based on their state or position within the document. They are denoted by a colon (:) followed by the pseudo-class name. Some popular pseudo-classes include :hover, :active, :focus, and :nth-child.

Now, let’s discuss the placement of pseudo-classes in relation to the main class. The answer to this question largely depends on your specific use case and coding style. However, there are some general guidelines you can follow.

CSS Best Practices

When it comes to organizing your CSS code, it’s generally recommended to keep related styles together. This promotes readability and maintainability. One common approach is to group all the styles for a particular element under a single class selector. This makes it easier to locate and modify styles for that element.

With regards to pseudo-classes, it’s common practice to include them within the main class selector. This helps to clearly define the styles that are specific to the state or position of the element. For example, if you have a button that changes color on hover, you would define the hover styles within the main class selector of the button.

Here’s an example to illustrate this:

.button {
/* styles for the button */

.button:hover {
/* styles for the button on hover */

By including the :hover pseudo-class within the main class selector, it becomes evident that the hover styles are associated with the button.

Exceptions to the Rule

While including pseudo-classes within the main class selector is generally recommended, there may be some exceptions to this rule. One such exception is when you have complex and reusable styles that need to be applied to multiple elements.

In such cases, it may be more appropriate to separate the pseudo-class styles from the main class selector and create a separate class for them. This allows you to easily apply the same styles to multiple elements without duplicating code. However, it’s important to still keep these styles logically grouped and documented to maintain clarity.


In conclusion, the placement of pseudo-classes in CSS depends on your coding style and specific use case. While it’s generally recommended to include them within the main class selector, there may be exceptions when dealing with complex and reusable styles. Ultimately, the key is to follow best practices that promote readability and maintainability of your code.

I hope this article has shed some light on the topic of pseudo-classes in CSS. If you have any further questions or insights, feel free to share them in the comments below!