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CSS grid landing page tutorial (36min)

Lesson info

Lesson info

Learn how and why to use Webflow's section, a layout element with a width of 100%, so it extends across the full width of the browser window. Sections play an important role in the structure and layout of a page. With sections, you can create separate blocks of content, dividing the page into meaningful segments. In this video, we'll cover: 

  1. Adding the section element to your design‍
  2. ‍Controlling the height of section elements

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When we’re talking about the structure and the layout of any particular page, sections play a huge role. When organizing our content, sections keep everything neatly divided, like chapters in a book.

And we’re going to look at sections in two ways: in the Navigator, and on the Canvas itself.

As we already know, the Body of our page contains ALL our content. Everything on the page is in the body.

And right inside the body, we have sections. As we click through these different sections in the Navigator here, we can see to our left that sections are stacked vertically. If we look on our Canvas, we see that each section is like a new chapter on the page.

Let’s say we want to add a section element to our page right between these two sections. Under the Elements panel, we can drag a section right onto the canvas in between these two sections, and that’s it.

That’s adding a section.

By default, sections take up the full width of the canvas. And as for the height, you’ll notice that toggling Preview makes our brand-new section completely disappear.

That’s because the section has no defined height. When you add a section, the Designer shows a little bit of space — some height here — so we can more easily interact with it. But the section has no real height outside the Designer until we tell it otherwise.

And there are three main ways to set our height for a section.

1. We can add content. Here we can add a Heading, just drag it right in. We can add a paragraph, and we’ll leave the placeholder text in there for now. And we can add a button.

You can see: the height of the section is already being defined by the content inside. We haven’t explicitly told the section how tall it’s supposed to be — we’ve just added some content which pushes against the section.

From there, we can set some padding — some breathing room on the inside — so our content isn’t right up against the upper and lower boundaries.

And at any time, since our content is going from edge to edge, we can drag in a container. That container goes right inside the section and can keep our elements neatly bound towards the center. We’re just dragging the content right inside the container.

The more you add: photos of cats, and Sir Patrick Stewart, the height of the section is going to respect everything on the inside. That's adding content to our section. And that’s where you can stop. But let’s cover the two other, optional ways to do this.

The second method for setting the height of a section — is to set a pixel value. Let’s say 200 pixels. But now we’ve cut off our content. Setting an exact height can be brutal to content.

So what we like to do in sections, if we want to define a pixel value, is instead…set a minimum. We’re going to click on height and remove that style. We don’t want a set height. All we have to do? Is set our minimum height to 200px. And though it looks like nothing changed, it really did. Let’s delete the content inside our section, and you can see — it’s 200 pixels high. It worked! It respects the minimum height.

And as we add that content back, as we put things into our section, it’s going to respect that content. 200 is only the minimum. Minimum heights will still respect the content inside our section.

What about 700 pixels? Well, now we’re in business. Even though our content isn’t that height, we have a minimum height of 700 pixels. Add more content? Add things that take us beyond that 700-pixel value? The section scales accordingly.

So that’s the second way: using a pixel value to determine the height of a section.

The final way, and this is one of the greatest things ever, and it’s especially common on hero sections on the top of the page, is to use the same technique we used before — the minimum height — but instead of using pixels, set the minimum height to 100vh (or viewport height).

And it does just that: it sets the minimum height to 100% of your viewport.

We can even set our section’s display setting to flex. Why? Because we can center that container inside.

For VH, we can put any number in here: 90 would be 90% of your viewport; 150 would be 150% of your viewport, and so on. And of course since it’s a minimum height, if you have content that you’ve added that pushes beyond the height of your viewport, the section will scale accordingly.

So. Sections live inside a page body. Like chapters in a book, they organize our content—they keep it nice and organized—and, by default, they take up the full width of our viewport.a