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CSS versus tables for layout design
In web designing both Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) and table based layouts are used.
But there exists a dichotomy regarding which of the methods of designing is better. There
is a group of web designers who tend to support and use the table based designs. There
is another group who insists upon CSS. Table based layout is an older version of web
design. CSS combined with XHTML makes a visual layout of a web site. CSS based
layouts are considered better than table layouts by many web designers.
One of the basic differences of CSS and table is that in table layouts the content is not
separated from visual data, while in case of CSS, both are separated. Thus a web
designer finds it easier and more convenient to design pages using Cascading Style
There are a number of reasons why CSS is considered superior to table layouts for web
design. Some of them are discussed here:
Time for Loading a Web Page: The web sites with table based layouts take
longer time to load than CSS based layouts. Generally a table based layout takes
about two to four times than CSS layouts to load. Therefore using table based
layouts for a web page is more time consuming for a user. So it is better to use
CSS web design as an impatient net user can shift from the site that takes him
longer time. For CSS Spacer GIFs are not required to be used as is in the practice
with table layouts. The Spacer GIFs increase the amount of junk markup and delay
loading of a web page.
Redesigning Web sites: It takes much longer time to redesign a web site with
table based layouts. Since in CSS the content and the visual data can be kept
separated, it helps the web designer to work fast and with ease compared to table
layouts. Thus in a web page changes can be easily made with CSS.
Cost Effective for Redesigning Sites: Using CSS for redesigning is not only
more efficient than tables but also cost effective. If the web designers are paid by
working hours then using CSS will save both money and time.
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