Should I Use Tables or CSS

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Should I Use Tables or CSS?

In the common struggle to create an efficient website that loads fast and reliable, many designers come across this topic of whether to use tables or CSS. There is no correct answer on what method to use, but there is a standard, and that standard has arisen that to be considered a professional web designer, you must use CSS, and there are no exceptions to that. I will discuss briefly what the advantages are for each method and ideal situations when they should be used.

Let’s start off with CSS. A CSS based design will load faster than one made of tables, for the simple reason that CSS contains fewer characters; therefore the .html files are smaller. Another reason is the common statement “Do I use a row, or a column?” and “How do I code this design now?” Table rows and columns can become confusing if you are not thinking of them as a table, but rather a layout. The easiest and most pathetic way to code a site in tables is to draw it out as a table, and try to imagine that if you had content in there, people often ask “How many rows should my column span?” and other related questions. The problem is that tables were never intended for website design, so it often becomes confusing when a user has multiple elements throughout the page that all need to be aligned to a specific area. Div tags are a lot easier to use for the sense that you can define the elements placement in one tag, not having to define a row, then a column, and then define the cell.

Now let’s move onto tables, tables are very effective when making a data chart, or any type of information that belongs in a table. Tables can be subjective to CSS, background, and other methods of adding an attitude or a certain look to your design so it isn’t so plain. When creating a table, you should use notes in your coding to keep yourself organized. When you do use tables, hand code it, you will prevent ridiculous errors, and you will be able to revise your content a whole lot easier. You can also try to eliminate the need for spacers.

Coding in tables is more time consuming, so I think everybody should use CSS. The change should be done in gradual stages, so you don’t confuse yourself. Try imaging a baby trying to walk before he crawled; it is impossible.


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