Level Up Your CSS Game: Effortless Styling with Tailwind CSS and PurgeCSS

Are you tired of spending hours trying to figure out how to style your web application? Do you find it cumbersome to keep track of all the CSS classes that you have to define for each element? If so, then it’s time to level up your CSS game with Tailwind CSS and PurgeCSS.

What is Tailwind CSS?

Tailwind CSS is a utility-first CSS framework that allows you to style your web application using pre-defined classes. This means that instead of manually creating CSS classes for each element in your HTML, you can simply add Tailwind classes to your elements and they will be styled accordingly. For example, if you want to add a margin to your element, you can add the “m-4” class to it and it will have a margin of 1.5rem.

Tailwind CSS provides over 350 utility classes that you can use to style your web application. These classes cover everything from margins and padding to colors and borders, making it easy to style your application without having to write a lot of custom CSS code.

What is PurgeCSS?

When you use a utility-first CSS framework like Tailwind CSS, you often end up with a lot of unused CSS classes in your final stylesheet. This can bloat your CSS file and slow down your application’s performance. PurgeCSS is a tool that helps you remove unused CSS classes from your stylesheet, making it smaller and faster to load.

With PurgeCSS, you can scan your HTML files and remove any CSS classes that are not being used. This allows you to keep your CSS file small and optimized, which can improve your application’s performance.

Benefits of Using Tailwind CSS and PurgeCSS

Using Tailwind CSS and PurgeCSS together can provide several benefits:

  • Easier Styling: With Tailwind CSS, you don’t need to remember all the CSS classes and properties you need to achieve a certain design. You can simply look up and apply the appropriate class. This saves you time and effort.
  • Smaller CSS Files: By removing unused CSS classes with PurgeCSS, you can significantly reduce your CSS file size. This can result in faster load times for your web application.
  • Improved Performance: With smaller CSS files and faster load times, your application’s performance can also improve. This can lead to a better user experience and higher search rankings.

How to Use Tailwind CSS and PurgeCSS

Now that you know the benefits of using Tailwind CSS and PurgeCSS, let’s see how you can use them in your web application.

Step 1: Install Tailwind CSS

To use Tailwind CSS, you need to install it first. You can do this by running the following command in your terminal:

npm install tailwindcss

Once you’ve installed Tailwind CSS, you need to create a configuration file that defines the colors, spacing, and other design properties that Tailwind CSS will use. You can create this file by running the following command:

npx tailwindcss init

This will create a tailwind.config.js file in your root directory.

Step 2: Create Your HTML File

Now that you’ve installed and configured Tailwind CSS, it’s time to create your HTML file. In this example, we’ll create a simple HTML file with a header, main content, and footer:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<meta charset="UTF-8">
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
<title>My Web Application</title>
<!-- Include Tailwind CSS -->
<link rel="stylesheet" href="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/tailwindcss%405.2.1%2Fdist%2Ftailwind.min.css">
<header class="bg-gray-800 py-4">
<div class="container mx-auto">
<h1 class="text-white text-4xl">Welcome to My Web Application</h1>
<!-- Main Content -->
<main class="container mx-auto my-8">
<p class="text-base">Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed viverra, metus vel placerat blandit, turpis elit tristique dolor, id pretium erat velit id turpis. Curabitur at consectetur ex. Nam at urna iaculis, placerat risus vel, eleifend sem. Aliquam quis ullamcorper neque. Nullam dapibus, elit sed malesuada cursus, ligula ex fermentum sapien, eu posuere diam quam eget sapien.</p>
<p class="text-base">Praesent nec enim vel ante venenatis tristique. Sed suscipit at mi quis varius. Proin laoreet tellus vel augue vehicula fringilla. Etiam euismod felis nulla, ac sollicitudin velit venenatis ut. Sed eros ligula, pretium non sapien eu, venenatis consectetur tortor. Ut efficitur id orci vel pharetra. Nunc vel libero elementum, bibendum leo eget, malesuada nisl. Integer sed diam vel tortor venenatis pellentesque non in diam. Fusce fermentum magna vel ultricies consequat. Phasellus pharetra nisl est, sit amet placerat enim cursus at.</p>
<footer class="bg-gray-800 py-4">
<div class="container mx-auto">
<p class="text-white">Copyright © 2021 My Web Application</p>

Notice how we’re using Tailwind classes to style our header, main content, and footer elements. We’re also using container classes to center our content and apply a max-width.

Step 3: Install PurgeCSS

Now that you have your HTML and CSS files set up, it’s time to install PurgeCSS. You can do this by running the following command:

npm install -D purgecss

This will install PurgeCSS as a development dependency.

Step 4: Configure PurgeCSS

Next, you need to configure PurgeCSS to scan your HTML file and remove any unused CSS classes from your Tailwind CSS file. To do this, create a purgecss.config.js file in your root directory and add the following code:

module.exports = {
content: ['./index.html'],
css: ['./tailwind.css'],
defaultExtractor: content => content.match(/[\w-/:]+(?<=<")(?<!"\))/g) || []

This tells PurgeCSS to scan your index.html file and use the tailwind.css file as the CSS source. It also tells PurgeCSS to extract any classes that are being used in your HTML file.

Step 5: Run PurgeCSS

Finally, you can run PurgeCSS to remove any unused classes from your CSS file. You can do this by running the following command:

npx purgecss --config ./purgecss.config.js --out ./tailwind.css

This will remove any unused CSS classes from your tailwind.css file and create a new file with the optimized styles.


Tailwind CSS and PurgeCSS are powerful tools that can help you streamline your web application styling process and improve overall performance. By using pre-defined utility classes and removing unused CSS with PurgeCSS, you can save time, reduce file size, and improve your application’s performance.

So, what are you waiting for? Start using Tailwind CSS and PurgeCSS in your next web application and see the difference for yourself.