Recently, CSS transitions and CSS animations have gained some reputation. They introduced new challenges facing web developers. In fact, each of them has some particularities and would be preferred to the other in some cases. Actually, they express the revolution against the JavaScript dominance in the animations field. Moreover, it is important to know that they are not the same thing, but they can work together. Both of them traduce the developing technology which tends to make the World Wide Web a place for creative minds. They also The fact is, the challenge that these properties can create is full of temptation since the SEO principles and UX principles are targeted.

The CSS in brief:

The CSS, which stands for Cascading Style Sheets, is a scripting language that allows assigning styles to HTML elements. The innovative trait of this language is that it adds more ergonomics and more flexibility to the considered elements. Also, it makes applying other scripting languages more accurate and more effective. Besides, the CSS defines many properties to work with, notably position, color, borders, etc. And it uses some more complex functions which are transitions and animations.

The CSS transitions:

Transitions are elementary changes of states. In other words, they are just simple passage from an initial state to a final state. The frame sequence between the two states is created by the browser. Actually, transitions are practical when it is about creating simple effects. The mouse over (hovering) triggered sequences and fading events.

Besides, a transition syntax is simple. It is defined by:

– Transition-property: This defines the attribute to alter during the transition.

– Transition-duration: Specifies the overall duration of the transition.

– Transition-timing-function: designates the speed of the transition realization.

– Transition-delay: It specifies the time to wait before starting the transition.

The CSS animations:

The CSS animations are sets of commands that allow the creation of more complex behavior. In other words, the CSS animation are not limited to the hovering and fading behaviors, but they handle the creation of responses to almost all the events. As a matter a fact, CSS animations give a complete control of the animation. Indeed, these procedures handle all the HTML elements without the use of JavaScript or flash plug-in.

The animations allow working on more than one property at once. There will be no major interferences. It is important to know that there must be an initial state which is the keyframe “0” and then, then, there will be the different steps of the animations as keyframes.

Besides, the CSS animations introduce the iteration, which refers to how many times the animation would repeat. Also, they come with the playing mode (forward, back…)

Somehow, the animations inherit the delay and timing properties from the transitions.


The CSS transitions intend to apply simple style modifications on the HTML elements. The animations are destined to create more complex style modifications. The fact is, CSS animations are nothing but groups of elementary transitions. Each elementary transition will then target a definite style.