Attributes-driven Styles: The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown

Why do we primarily use class selectors to style our elements?

Here are some common answers:

  • They work
  • That's what I learned
  • That's what [insert framework here] uses
  • I work quickly with them

Some more (slightly better) answers:

  • Some of my toolset relies on CSS classes for processing
  • They are pretty flexible

Sure, there are a lot of other combinatorial selectors we use, but overall, when targeting an element, we use class selectors most often.

I'm here to challenge your thinking and broaden our horizons a bit by using custom attributes for styling.

About Jonathan Cutrell

Jonathan is a builder, scholar, teacher, and advocate for craftsmanship in any field. Jonathan hosts Developer Tea, a top-listed podcast dedicated to exploring the development craft. Jonathan leads a team of developers daily at Whiteboard, and works in Chattanooga, TN where he lives with his wife Lauren (who also works at Whiteboard) and dog, Evie (who is currently unemployed).