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I learned css snd html, thinking that making a site that looks good and professional would be a simple matter of basic layout and some fiddling with colours/text.

However on beginning the css portion of my site design, I've found that everything looks like a gradeschool web project or like it's from the 90's.

All of the color schemes i apply look awful- in fact solid colours in general dont look very professional. Then i go on professional sites and notice that alot of their graphics amnd div backgrounds are filled with custom gradients or other designs, not just a single solid color.

Can i make a professional looking site using just basic html and css, or will i need to design graphics as well?

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There are lots of ways to create subtle or strong gradients and all kinds of effects like shadows in CSS alone. You can use images, of course. But you have to be aware of the browser support of the CSS tricks you're going to use. Try looking up some CSS3 online before resorting to images. –  Kramp Dec 28 '12 at 9:04
    
is css3 widely supported enough that the effects would be supported on the average user's browser? –  user1299028 Dec 28 '12 at 9:05
    
Generally yes. The usage of older browsers is down to about 17% globally (afaik) so you'd probably be safe using it :) –  Kramp Dec 28 '12 at 9:06
    
Down/Close Vote: All you're really asking is can you do make a professional site in just HTML and CSS. The answer is yes. The below responses about how to do gradients are all well and good but you didn't ask that. If you are looking for how to do gradients in CSS then please edit your question as it stands though the answer you marked as correct doesn't help anyone else because it doesn't answer the question you asked. –  Ryan Dec 28 '12 at 15:04

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

There are lots of ways to create subtle or strong gradients and all kinds of effects like shadows in CSS alone. You can use images, of course. But you have to be aware of the browser support of the CSS tricks you're going to use. Try looking up some CSS3 online before resorting to images

You can use online tools as well to generate the effects you're after:

The ultimate CSS3 gradient generator (it even has support for IE!)

The CSS3 generator (this takes a bit of time to use, but it generates good code.

And this one is an all in one, simple to use effect generator :)

Hope some of that helps you out.

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Thanks! And is all this strongly recommended to create a professional site? Or should i be able to c –  user1299028 Dec 28 '12 at 9:16
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To create a good site is having a good eye for where elements go and how the user reacts to them. You can make a perfectly beautiful site using two or three colors, there's much more to it than gradients and shadows. :) But if used correctly, this will help a lot :) –  Kramp Dec 28 '12 at 9:32
    
Apparently i accidentally posted an unfinished comment. Not sure how that happened... Well you answered my question anyways, thanks! :) –  user1299028 Dec 28 '12 at 10:47

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