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CSS CSS Basics (2014) Basic Selectors Type Selectors

in CSS how come sometimes you use background: and other times you use background-color: to change the color?

Was working on this challenge and was just curious. Thanks.

/* Complete the challenge by writing CSS below */

body { 
  text-align: center;

p {
  color: lightslategrey;

header {
  background: orange;
  color: white;

div {
  background-color: lightblue;
<!DOCTYPE html>
    <title>Lake Tahoe</title>
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="page.css">
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="style.css">
      <span>Journey through the Sierra Nevada Mountains</span>
      <h1>Lake Tahoe, California</h1>
      Lake Tahoe is one of the most breathtaking attractions located in California. It's home to a number of ski resorts, summer outdoor recreation, and tourist attractions. Snow and skiing are a significant part of the area's reputation.
    <a href="#">Find out more</a>
      <h2>Check out all the Wildlife</h2>
        As spawning season approaches, the fish acquire a humpback and protuberant jaw. After spawning, they die and their carcasses provide a feast for gatherings of mink, bears, and Bald eagles.
      <a href="#">See the Wildlife</a>

2 Answers

Hi Sika,

They're interchangeable in this case, so it is a matter of personal preference whether you want to use one, the other or even both; as seen here.

The background property is a shorthand property that lets you declare several background-related properties with one line of code instead of writing them out individually. You do not have to declare every compatible property for the shorthand to work; you can just declare one or a few. So, while it may not be visually consistent, it is perfectly valid to write CSS like this:

header {
  background: gray;

footer {
  background-color: black;

I hope that helps!

background is the shorthand property for all of the background properties. It includes background-color so that you don't have to write out the full background-color property. background is more versatile because you can declare background colors, images, a background's repeat pattern, the background's size, etc. in one short property instead of defining every single property.

Here's an example:

body {
    background: #00ff00 url("smiley.gif") no-repeat fixed;

is the same as saying

background-color: #00ff00;
background-image: url("smiley.gif");
background-repeat: no-repeat;
background-position: fixed;

I hope that clears that up for you!