How to make gradient backgrounds in CSS

Gradient backgrounds are a visually striking way to display a pleasing transition of colors.

Here’s an example of the gradient background on each of my website’s pages, with shades of aqua and purple.

Here’s how I did it:

First of all, you need to know that CSS defines two kinds of gradients:

  • Linear Gradients (down/up/left/right/diagonally)
  • Radial Gradients (defined by their center)

I’m only focusing on linear gradients in this post.

Before you create the linear gradient, you need to decide two things:

  • What colors you will use. Those are your “color stops.”
  • The starting point and direction of  your gradient. (Do you want the colors to go left-right? Up-down? Angled from corner to corner?)


Top to Bottom (the default)

Create a div. Inside this div, your selector will be “background” and its’ property will be “linear-gradient”. The value of “linear-gradient” will be the color stops.

I use hex values for my color stops to have more control over the exact shades. Here’s a resource for finding hex codes:

Here’s the default syntax:

#mydiv {
background: linear-gradient(blue, green);

It’s actually pretty straightforward, huh?

Now we can try some other kinds of transitions:

Left-right, transitioning from blue to green:

#mydiv {
background: linear-gradient(to right, blue , green);


You can make the gradient display diagonally by indicating the horizontal and vertical starting positions:

#mydiv {
background: linear-gradient(to bottom right, blue, green);

Angled: (to top, to bottom, to left, to right, to bottom right, etc.)

The angle is specified by degrees between the horizontal line and the gradient line:

#mydiv {
background: linear-gradient(-90deg, blue, green);

Top-bottom, transitioning from blue to green to orange:

#mydiv {
background: linear-gradient(blue, green, orange);

My own gradient background goes left to right, and I specified that I wanted the first color to take up the first 50% of the gradient space.

Here’s my code:

background: linear-gradient(to right, #57BBBF 50% , #5798bf, #577dbf, #5759bf, #6f57bf, #9457bf, #da5cdb);

You can add transparency, by using the “rgba() function” to define the color stops. To define the amount of opacity or transparency, the last value in the function is  either a 0 or 1. (0 indicates full transparency, 1 indicates no transparency (fully opaque).

This next gradient starts from the left as fully transparent, then transitions to full opaque (non-transparent) blue:

#mydiv {
background: linear-gradient(to right, rgba(255,0,0,0), rgba(255,0,0,1));

I hope you try some of these yourself and get creative, and have fun with them. There’s no limit to what you can do with gradients.

Questions? Contact me:

[email protected]


My Contact Page

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About the author

diane-author-300x181 How to make gradient backgrounds in CSS

I developed Image and Aspect because I believe that professionals need to have an impactful web presence. One that showcases their unique talents, skills, and abilities as well as their values and style. A presence that focuses on social engagement and connection.

I’m passionate about what I do; I like helping fellow humans, I like having all kinds of social connection with others, and I want to give back, to make the world a better place.

I do much of the designing and coding myself, and I also have a wonderful network of professionals that may contribute as well; photographers, copywriters, branding experts.

I love designing and coding beautiful, elegant and responsive web creations. I ALSO teach and help others who want to learn how to do it themselves.

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Diane M. Metcalf, M.S.

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gradient How to make gradient backgrounds in CSS
Article Name
How to make CSS Gradient backgrounds
Step-by-step instructions to make various types of gradient backgrounds using CSS.
Diane Metcalf
Image and Aspect