How can I stop my CMS’s CSS affecting my content?

Tags: html,css,content-management-system

Problem :

I am using a CMS that has been poorly configured with horrific CSS (e.g. H1 is about 12px). How can I load my content without it being infected by this diseased CSS?

I was considering an iframe, but I would want to keep it in the CMS if possible. Would frames work?

Solution :

If you can keep your content within an element with a specific class or id (e.g. <div class="content">, then you could adapt a reset stylesheet (like Eric Meyer’s) to reset everything within that class:

.content div, .content span, /* ...and so on */
    margin: 0;
    padding: 0;
    border: 0;
    font-size: 100%;
    font: inherit;
    vertical-align: baseline;

Then write all your styles prefixed with that class too, e.g.

.content h1 {
    font-size: 3em;

If you’d rather reset everything to the default browser styles (rather than the unstyled settings you get with a reset stylesheet), you could adapt Firefox’s built-in html.css stylesheet in a similar way (i.e. prefix all its selectors with the class/id on the element containing all your content).

Bit of a drag, but it might be less of a faff than frames. (I assume the CMS generates your HTML, so it’d be harder to change that to use frames than to work around their issues in your CSS file.)

You might consider changing your CMS — they’re meant to reduce the amount of work you have to do, not increase it.

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