HTML Background Code

This article provides HTML background code - code for setting the background properties of an HTML element.

The following examples use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). CSS is the best way of setting the background properties in your HTML. It's more flexible than the (outdated) HTML method (more on that below). Using CSS, you can set the background properties of any HTML element. Plus you can do things like, specify an image's position, whether it should repeat, how it should repeat etc.

Background Color

You can set the background color of any HTML element using the background-color property. You can choose a background color with the HTML color chart.

CodeResult

HTML background code is limited, CSS background code is much better!

Choose a color with the HTML color chart.

Background Image

You can set a background image using the background-image property.

Using the code below, you need to change /pix/smile.gif to the location of your background image. If you need a background image, check out these free background patterns.

CodeResult

HTML background code is limited, CSS background code is much better!

Fixed Background Image

You can fix the position of a background image so that its position is fixed even if its containing block scrolls. You do this with the background-attachment property. Once again, you need to change /pix/smile.gif to the location of your background image.

CodeResult

HTML background code is limited, CSS background code is much better! example shows how a background image can be set to a fixed position - even though its containing block scrolls.

Shorthand Background Code

You can use the CSS background property to set all the background properties at once. Therefore, you can set background-attachment, background-color, background-image, background-position, background-repeat all in one place using the background property.

Therefore, using the previous code example, we could rewrite it to this:

CodeResult

HTML background code is limited, CSS background code is much better! example shows how a background image can be set to a fixed position - even though its containing block scrolls.

Backgrounds for the Whole Page

To set the background properties for the whole page, simply apply the property/properties to the body element.

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<html>
<head>
</head>
<body style="background-color:#eeeeee;">
...content goes here...
</body>
</html>

Backgrounds for your Whole Website

The examples on this page use inline styles, which means that the CSS is attached to each HTML element within the HTML code. It's a good idea to transfer these to an external style sheet if you need to use the same styles throughout your website.

Doing this will save you from having to copy/paste the code on to multiple pages. External style sheets enable you to write the code once, then apply it to your whole site (regardless of how many pages you have).

Oh, and external style sheets are extremely easy to create!

Full List of Background Properties

Here's a list of CSS background properties you can use on your HTML elements:

CSS 2.1

CSS 3

The following properties have been introduced into CSS version 3.

Background Gradients

CSS3 enables you to create that "background gradient" effect. This is where you can make different colors blend together nicely across an HTML element.

Before CSS3, in order to create a gradient, you had to create an image, upload it to your server, then use the method described above (under the "Background Image" heading).

With the introduction of gradients to CSS3, gradients are a breeze to create.

To create a background gradient, check out these pages:

HTML Background Code (deprecated)

The above examples demonstrate the best way of setting the background of your web pages - using CSS.

You may occasionally encounter an old web page where the background has been set using HTML (instead of CSS). Something like this:

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<body background="/images/image_name.gif" 
		bgcolor="orange">

This is the old way of specifying background. Until CSS came along, this was the only way to set background properties in HTML. HTML is very limited for setting backgrounds. You can only specify a background image on one tag (the body tag), and setting a background color is limted to the document's body and tables.

This method of specifying the background is deprecated (i.e. not recommended) - you should use the CSS methods above to set background properties.

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