Why Does Some Of My Css Work But Others Dont

CSS Programming

Have you ever experienced the frustration of writing what you think is perfectly valid CSS, only to find that some styles work while others don’t? I’ve been there, and it can be a head-scratching challenge to troubleshoot. Let’s dive into some common reasons why this might be happening and how to resolve these issues.

Selector Specificity

One of the most common reasons why some CSS styles work while others don’t is due to selector specificity. If you have multiple CSS rules targeting the same element, the rule with the highest specificity will take precedence. For example, a rule targeting an ID (#example) will override a rule targeting a class (.example). This can lead to some styles being applied while others are overridden.

Incorrect Selectors

Another reason for inconsistent CSS behavior is using incorrect selectors. It’s important to ensure that the selectors you’re using actually match the elements you intend to style. For example, mistyping a class name or forgetting to include a period for class selectors can lead to styles not being applied as expected.

Issue with Cascade

The cascade is a fundamental principle in CSS, which determines the order in which styles are applied. If you’re facing issues where some styles are not being applied, it’s possible that there are conflicting styles further down in the cascade that are overriding the ones you intended to see. Understanding how the cascade works can help in troubleshooting these situations.

Browser Compatibility

CSS features and properties are not always supported consistently across different browsers. It’s entirely possible that a particular CSS property or value works in one browser but not in another. Keeping browser compatibility in mind and using vendor prefixes or alternative approaches can help in achieving more consistent results.

Errors in CSS Code

Of course, we can’t ignore the possibility of simple errors in our CSS code. A missing semicolon, a typo, or a syntax error can lead to the partial application of styles. It’s always a good practice to review your CSS code carefully and use tools like browser developer tools to identify any errors that may be causing issues.


While encountering issues with partial application of CSS styles can be frustrating, understanding the common reasons behind this inconsistency and being diligent in your coding practices can help in troubleshooting and resolving these issues. By paying attention to selector specificity, using correct selectors, understanding the cascade, considering browser compatibility, and ensuring error-free CSS, you can minimize the chances of encountering this problem.