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Posted on 05/25/2023 in Category 1

Margin vs Padding: Understanding the key differences

Margin vs Padding: Understanding the key differences

Margin and padding are important elements of web development and design. Sometimes, during the designing process confusion occurs between margin vs padding. Both margin vs padding are used to provide extra space or gap. The margin can be explained as the outside space of the element whereas the padding represents the inner space around the element. 

To conduct the web development and design process easily, it’s vital you understand the difference between padding vs margin. Both padding vs margin together can help you to distinguish text and graphics. By including padding and margin appropriately you can make sure that your website looks neat and tidy. Here, in this blog, we will give you complete information about margin vs padding and how they are different.

Padding vs Margin 

Margin padding are an essential elements of a website that ensure website design is less messy and more understandable. Margin vs padding can also help in the loading speed of your website and maintain uniformity across different devices. 

First, let’s understand what is padding and what exactly is the margin.

What is padding? 

Padding is the space between the border and the content of an element. The padding adds a space between the element and the other components of the website. It is essential to distinguish the text boxes from the images while keeping them in the right positions. 

What is margin? 

Margin is the space outside the border of an element. The margin of an element helps to inform the web browser how much space should be left between the independent elements and the outside margin of the website’s page. Margins are also used to keep different website elements at equal distances apart. 

Before starting with the website design process, it’s best to know the difference between margin and padding. This information will help you to make sure that you use margin vs padding properly. 

Knowing margin vs padding differences will ensure you understand and follow the web design layout instructions accurately. Below, we have given a table of margin vs padding differences that will give you a better understanding of both.

Padding vs Margin

  • Padding is the space between the element & the border while the margin is the space outside the border of the element. Padding is known as the inner space while margin is called the outside space.
  • You can use automatic settings for margin. However, you can’t set auto-padding for the padding in elements.
  • For defining padding, you can’t use negative values whereas you can do that with margins.
  • Padding can be affected by the styling of other website elements. But margins are not affected by the styling of other elements on the website.

Padding vs Margin: When to use? 

To create the best website it’s important to understand when to use padding vs margin. From the above table, you must have understood some basic differences between padding vs margin. Now, we will tell you some things that you must keep in mind when using padding and margin

When to use padding:

  • To add space between borders and content: Use padding to add space between content and border. This way you can ensure the design aligns with other elements on the website. By adding padding you can increase the whitespace between your graphics or website which is vital in web design.
  • To expand the space around an element: You can alter the size of an element by adding or increasing the padding surrounding it. This can be useful when you are putting interactive elements like buttons or image-based links.

When to use margins: 

  • To change the specific element’s position: Margins are commonly used in web designing and development to alter the specific element’s position. By using margins you can move the element to the left, right, or center based on the position you want to place it. You can define if you want the element to be fixed, scroll along the page or remain stationary as a user scrolls.
  • To keep distance between elements: By using margins you can set distance between different elements of your website. Inculcating margins appropriately can help you build an elegant website that drives traffic and boost sales.
  • Overlap elements: You can use margins to overlap specific elements over others. By using a negative margin value you can overlap one element over the others easily.

How to use padding vs margin CSS?

In this section, we will help you learn how you can use CSS padding vs margin with your website’s files. By understanding the difference between padding and margin, you’ll be able to use them effectively. 

What is CSS? 

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets and is one of the most popular programming languages created for the stylization of markup. CSS is used along with HTML to bring color schemes and visual vibrancy to the elements. Without CSS, a website will look plain or outdated, and colorless. 

CSS allows developers to add style and definition to the website’s layout, padding, logos, fonts, and more. In CSS you get more capabilities for setting padding vs margin to specific elements of a website depending on how you want it to appear. 

Adding margins (CSS)

To add margin to any web page, you can use your own CSS file to help make the process easy and apply margins across the board. By using a CSS file to set margins, you can save time without needing to do manual editing of each page on which you want to add margins. 

For incorporating margins into your website’s CSS file, you must remember that each HTML element you add to your site has 4 margins that can be formatted and edited. The 4 margins of an HTML element include left, top, right, and bottom. 

When you want to set an equal margin from all sides of an HTML element, you can use the simplified margin property rather than specifying each side specifically. 

Example: You want to make a section of your website have a margin of 20px, your CSS file snippet will look like this:

#maincontent {margin: 20px;}

But if  you want to change the amount of space that an element has from the bottom of a page, your CSS snippet will appear like this:

#maincontent {margin-bottom: 10px;}

When using a formatting variation like margin-top, margin-left, margin-right, or margin-bottom, keep in mind that the number you set is the number of pixels the element appears from the set position. For example, if you keep the margin-right to “50px”, your element will come at 50px from the far right of the page, or the element it’s contained within.

You can apply more than one margin value to an element. You can use 2,3 or even 4 individual margin definitions for an element based on the design and layout of your website. If you are using more than one margin value for an element, then they’ll load and be displayed using the following system:

  • 2 values: 2 margin values are applied to both the top and bottom and to the left and right of the element as well.
  • 3 values: 3 margin values are applied to the top, left, and right (together) and the bottom of an element.
  • 4 values: 4 margin values are applied individually, starting at the top and then right, bottom, and left.

As you can add more than one margin value to an element, it gives you complete control over how the website layout appears to the visitors when they’re viewing it from the web or a smartphone. 

Adding padding (CSS) 

Adding padding to a component of your website is similar to adding margins. However, it’s important to understand the difference between margin vs padding CSS to utilize them perfectly in your website design. 

Like the margin shorthand code, the padding shorthand code uses the word “padding”. This is a clear indication of where padding has been used in the website layout. In padding also you have 4 sides. 

For example, if you want to add 20px of padding inside an element to give more whitespace to your text or media, you can do it with the following settings:

#maincontainer {padding: 20px;}

Padding can also be altered with up to 4 values. To set all sides of an element’s padding simultaneously, you can use the universal padding setting. However, you can also opt for 2,3, or 4 values for defining the padding of a specific object or web element. 

While using more than 1 value for defining the padding of a specific element, keep the following things in mind. 

  • 2 values: By adding 2 padding values, you’ll get padding to both the top and bottom (using the first setting) along with the right and left (using the second value).
  • 3 values: If you add 3 values, the padding will be applied to the top, right, and left (using the second value), and then to the bottom.
  • 4 values: If you add all 4 values when defining the padding of an element, each value will represent the top, right, bottom, and left of the element.

An example of the element using all 4 values in defining the padding will appear like this in your CSS file: 

#maincontent {padding : 10px 30px 10px 20px;}

How to use padding and margins in HTML? 

Many developers and designers use a concise CSS file to add and edit different elements and settings throughout the website. However, they can also use HTML to include different element settings, HTML margin vs padding to save time while updating the website. In this section, we will also tell you in detail about HTML padding vs margin

What is HTML? 

HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. It is the most commonly used web programming language for creating and designing websites. HTML is the foundational language that has been used to build most of the web that we use and know today. However, these days HTML is not being used much for app development or new technology.  

Regardless of the fact that you like using Notepad or HTML editors, HTML has come a long way for creating, designing, and customizing webpages today. HTML offers a lot for developing the building blocks and elements of a website. But when it comes to editing and specifying elements like margins and padding of an object, it becomes difficult with HTML. Before CSS came into existence, tables were used to add padding margin for specific elements. Or else the size of an element has to be defined within the code, which doesn’t always work well in interactive and mobile-friendly designs. 

For example, margin and padding used to appear like this using HTML: 

<table cellspacing=20px cellpadding=20px></table>

If you use the traditional table setting to manage margins and padding automatically, the HTML table will appear like this:

<table> <tr> </td> </tr> </table> 

As you know it’s possible to do basic settings with HTML. But if you use both HTML and CSS when developing a website it will provide you better customization when setting margins and padding specifications. 

Best ways for using padding vs margin 

Now, we will tell some of the best ways for using paddings and margins on your website. 

  1. Use margins to add whitespace outside of an element or on the webpage. 

Margins are an outside space of an element and help add space to the webpage. You can use margins for large elements that have additional components inside. Margins are not affected by the outside stylization or any other CSS settings that you put on your website. 

  1. Avoid using HTML for all margin and padding settings. 

For having more control and to customize each element on your website, you should use CSS. 

  1. Learn to implement a CSS file of your own into your website. 

A CSS file includes all the padding and margin settings that you want to see on your website. It will help you save time while your development is going on. Using one CSS file is much easier than manually entering values, tables, and HTML in each of the web pages. 

  1. You can use HTML tables when you don’t want to use CSS. 

HTML tables are great for testing basic wireframe layouts and designs of websites before releasing them and adding customizations to them. 

The Bottom Line: Padding vs Margin 

In this blog, we have explained the padding vs margin differences. This information will help you while designing your website layout and adding various elements to the different web pages. You can use WebMaxy eGrowth to manage your marketing channels effectively and to bring traffic to your website.

WebMaxy eGrowth is an eCommerce management platform that has a plethora of features like a KPI dashboard, conversion dashboard, marketing insights, audience segmentation, social campaigns, marketing automation, email marketing, WhatsApp marketing, customer loyalty, help desk, and retargeting. 

Schedule a call with our experts to learn more about WebMaxy Growth, or email us at info@webmaxy.co

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