Chris Coyier on life in the CSS trenches

This article first appeared in issue 228 of .net magazine – the world's best-selling magazine for web designers and developers.

If you haven’t heard of CSS-Tricks, you need to check it out. The CSS blog is massively popular and influential within the web design community – as is the man behind it, Chris Coyier. We know this because when we crowd-sourced questions for this interview on Twitter we got responses such as “Ask him why he is so awesome!”, “Why is he such a legend?”, and “Will he marry me?”. So how did it all go so right?

Like many, Coyier’s career began in print: having studied graphic design and multimedia design at university, he began work after graduation in prepress and print design at American. But he’d always been interested in web design, and was intrigued by the notion that people could make money blogging on sites such as ProBlogger. “I thought: ‘I have a little bit of entrepreneurial spirit and I could do something to live that blogger lifestyle,’” he recalls. So he and a friend hatched a plan.

Coyier’s friend was working on an Adobe helpline and realised that the kind of problems people were phoning up about were also being searched for on Google. “So we set up blogs such as, and to service that demand. In our minds, we were on our way to a blogging empire.” But the grand plan soon ran into choppy waters.

“Those blogs were a flop, basically,” Coyier smiles. “Our hearts weren’t in it. Blogging about problems with InDesign was, well, boring.” Worse still, Adobe threatened the pair with legal action for exploiting its trademarks without permission, ultimately taking the offending URLs from them and only offering minimal compensation.

But it wasn’t all bad: something else had happened along the way to soften the blow…

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