Difference Between Padding and Margin in Web Designing

Margin and padding are two fundamental components of web design that separate text or objects on a website, but they serve distinct functions and have different aesthetic impacts. You can successfully separate text from visuals by understanding how margin and padding interact, resulting in a website that looks professional and is simple to read.

You may have used padding or margin to offer additional gaps or space while developing the user interface for a document. However, both of these words may perplex the vast majority of individuals. Therefore, this post will examine the distinction between padding and margin.

Understanding Padding and Margin


Padding is the division between an element’s content and its border. It is the space between the content and the border surrounding it and may be applied to an element to give it more room and a visually attractive look. Here’s an example:


It comprises cushioning on the top, right, bottom, and left, and therefore, its CSS properties are padding-top, padding-down, padding-right, and padding-top, and their initial values are zero.

You may add padding to an element by changing the values in:

  • Length – a fixed value, commonly in pixels, points, or centimeters.
  • Percentage – the padding’s size increases with the element’s width.
  • Inherit – causes the CSS padding attributes to be passed down from the parent element.


The margin is the outside space of an element that offers space between the border and the outer components. In layman’s terms, the margin is the distance between an element and its immediate neighbors. You may use the margin attribute to make an element stand out. Here’s an illustration:


The margin area is an unseen region surrounding the border area that pushes other components away from the HTML element. The margin edge specifies it. Its CSS properties are the margin-top, margin-right, margin-bottom:, and margin-left.

Margin, like padding, may be configured in length, percentage, and inherit values. It does, however, support:

  • Auto – The browser will choose an appropriate margin setting to use. The web element is normally centered.
  • Negative values – bring components closer together.

What is the Difference Between Padding and Margin?

padding of different pixels
Padding of Different Pixels

1. Space Around Elements

The way margin and padding generate space around components is one of the fundamental distinctions. A margin separates the items that surround your text or picture. Padding stretches to provide additional space around an element or contracts to make the information inside its bounds smaller.

2. Positioning

Margins govern the space between the element and its neighbors. When you put a margin on an element, it pushes other components around it away. This is handy for specifying the spacing between distinct sections or items on a website.

without margin and with margin respectively
Without Margin and With Margin Respectively

Padding, on the other hand, is the space between the content of an element and its border. It affects the internal spacing of an element. You may regulate how far the content within the element is from its edges by setting the padding.

This is important for keeping the correct space between the content and the element’s border, preventing the content from seeming too tight.

3. Dimensions

Padding alters the size of the piece it surrounds. When you modify the padding values for an element, the size of that element may vary. The element’s size does not change when you adjust margin values. Changing this only impacts the area surrounding the element.

4. Margin Collapse

When two neighboring parts have margins, they might collapse. If the top and bottom margins of two items come into contact, they may merge into a single margin in certain instances. This might result in unexpected space and is a significant consideration in layout design.

Padding is not prone to collapse. One element’s padding will always be unique from the padding of another element, guaranteeing constant internal space.

5. Borders and Backgrounds

Margins do not have backgrounds or borders. They are translucent spaces that add space between items. Padding is a component of an element’s container and might include backgrounds and borders.

When you apply a background color or border to an element, the padding area is included in those styles, typically creating a visual separation between the content and the border.

6. Values

Depending on the purpose of your project, the margin might be negative or positive. For example, if you want items to overlap, you may specify margin values to be negative, which might help you build things like picture collages.

Padding values may be positive because the element cannot extend beyond its boundary.

When to Use Padding and Margin?

While margins and padding may seem identical on the surface, there is a significant distinction: a margin does not count as part of the element itself, but padding does.

If you clicked on an element’s padding, it would still register as a click on that element. However, if you click on the margin, nothing happens. So, this is the most fundamental difference between margins and padding. Margin and padding are often employed to generate white space around components to make them more legible.

Margins Uses

CSS margins define the amount of space around an element. As a result, margins may be utilized to:

  • Rearrange an Element on the Page

CSS margins may shift an element up, down, left, or right on the page. If the width of your website is fixed, you can center an element horizontally. Simply set the parameter margin: auto.

  • Determine the Distance Between Neighbouring Elements

Margins are responsible for the space between consecutive elements, or whitespace, which is essential for making web pages look appealing. If not used, the page may look quite cluttered and untidy. For example, they may be used to provide space between pictures or between an image and the written description below it.

Padding Uses

CSS padding governs how content appears inside its corresponding element. CSS padding may be changed to accomplish the following effects:

  • Increase the space between the content and its border.

This is the most typical use of padding, which is beneficial for establishing whitespace between components.

  • Element Size Modification

When you raise the padding value, the content remains the same size, but extra space is added around it. When you wish to enlarge the clickable area of interactive objects like buttons, this is beneficial.

How to Add Padding and Margin in WordPress?

To make changes to your page, log in to your WordPress dashboard. Find the page you want to edit. After selecting the page of your choice, you can choose the page builder that you have installed. They can be any of these three: Brizy, Divi, or Elementor, and you’ll have a button at the top as:

  • Edit with Brizy
  • Edit with Divi
  • Edit with Elementor
edit with elementor
Edit With Elementor

You can choose which one you’ll use, and it will open up the editor for that page.

Next, select the element on the page where you’d like to adjust padding or margin. This could be a text box, an image, or a button. When you click on the element, its editing options appear on the sidebar.

To add padding and margin, there are different tabs for the three-page builders; they are:

  • Brizy: Click on the Styling tab
  • Divi: Click on the Design tab
  • Elementor: Click on the Advanced tab
advanced tab of elementor before adding padding and margin
Advanced Tab of Elementor Before Adding Padding and Margin

Within each tab, you’ll see options for adjusting padding. You might find controls for the bottom left and right padding values. Use these controls to increase or decrease the space between your content and the border of that element.

Similarly, there are options for modifying the margin within the same tab you choose. Again, there may be controls for top, bottom, left, and right margins.

Adjust these values to control how much space exists between your chosen element and its neighboring elements.

after adding padding and margin
After Adding Padding and Margin

Remember to save any changes before exiting out of your page editor.

Once you have made your adjustments, you can check how your changes look by clicking on the “Preview” button at the corner. If you are happy with the outcome, click either the “Publish” or “Update” button to save your modifications.

Wrapping Up

Understanding the distinctions between padding and margin will help you choose the layout and numerous components for every page you make while creating your website wireframe. The margin specifies the space between neighboring items.

Padding allows you to create or adjust the gap between the element and the border’s edge. It might be difficult for novices to pick which property to use while constructing a website. However, as you play about and explore, you’ll grow more acquainted with them.

Sunny Kumar

Number of posts: 145

Hi, I'm Sunny Kumar, a passionate tech enthusiast and a blogger from New Delhi, India. With a degree in IT from IIT-D and expertise in SEO, Cloud Computing, Telecom & Networking, and CEH, I specialize in various technical fields, including SEO, WordPress Development, and PC Building. And being a proficient WordPress user, I’m dedicated to delivering quality content and a remarkable user experience.

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