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Am I 'out of touch' still using tables to design websites?

 
 
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paul
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:06 pm    Post subject: Am I 'out of touch' still using tables to design websites? Reply with quote

I did a bit of reading this evening about designing websites with HTML tables versus CSS, and was a bit surprised to discover that most designers seem to say tables are evil nowadays.

Are tables really that bad now? Aren't they still a perfectly acceptable method for designing a site?
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There seems to be very little out there that says "hey, tables are still OK for layout" but I did find this article which I felt made some good arguments:

http://iamelgringo.blogspot.com/2009/02/tables-vs-css-css-trolls-begone.html
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They do appear to be a little out of date, with CSS seemingly the standard these days. I never really got to grips with CSS myself though so still use tables on my own creations. Alas I must say my own creations are often pretty poor so that's no comendation Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't see a problem with using tables to structure your pages, as long as it's done well and complies with w3c guidance.

Last edited by jysmith on Wed May 09, 2012 1:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

div with css is good option
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rijo.thomas.sara... rather than post lots of one liners, why not post in full a little more. Give some reasons for what you suggest. Why do you think divs with css a good option?
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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 6:54 pm    Post subject: Nothing wrong with tables... But I would move toward DIV Reply with quote

DIV and CSS are probably the best duo in reducing scripting clutter... you can literally do everything with div and css a lot more than you can with tables without having a bulky source code... its a lot robust and simple to handle... the funny thing is, tough the trend is moving towards non-table scripting, google.com still uses tables... go check the page's source code.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Am I 'out of touch' still using tables to design website Reply with quote

paul wrote:
I did a bit of reading this evening about designing websites with HTML tables versus CSS, and was a bit surprised to discover that most designers seem to say tables are evil nowadays.

Are tables really that bad now? Aren't they still a perfectly acceptable method for designing a site?


I havent been using tables for a good few years now and would not recommend using them for anything but presneting data as this is what they were designed for. When CSS came along people started to style the tables to make sites look better but this is not nromal practice. If you are using CSS to style images etc in to the back of tables, different browsers will render them differently and so the site will not look the same in all situations. With the onset of mobile devices and mobile websites, tabled designs will look pretty poor in the modern environment. If you have time, I would recommend you try to look in to redesigning the forum here to be tableless. Im sure the system will have a tableless template someplace that will allow a quick transition.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting. What would be the benefit of that, Barry...?
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tables these days are best for displaying tabular data and are read as such with Search Engine Spiders. You can still use them for layouts but there are several downsides when being crawled:

1) Being that the data cannot be read in a logical sequential manner and Bots dont actually build a logical index of your page, as they run cell to cell from left to right, before running each row.
2) Screen readers and programs that interpret the page also cannot follow the information in a logical manner, when relaying this to the user. These days accessibility is also a consideration when scoring a page.
3) They are not very fluid for cross browser/os functionality and can break a layout.

There are of course a large list of reasons for and against, but i thought i would highlight these that i think are important. SEO today is vital and tables are a three legged donkey. Very Happy

Some reasons for tables:

1) They are the standard still for eShots or html newsletters as the CSS is not processed very well through all the email clients, due to no official standard being accepted across the board. Also many strip out the CSS when they strip out any Javascript tags.

2) They are quick to create and can work well for spash pages and microsites.

I would always encrouage people to move into pure CSS asap and its not very hard, but tables do still work and can get the job done, though they have been and are becoming more disadvantaged as time moves on (in my opinion). Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I stopped using tables years ago now. Like Planet said they interfere with crawling and I personally find it a whole lot easier to just write it in Notepad with CSS than to try and use tables
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:33 pm    Post subject: The semantic web Reply with quote

Apart from being old hat, using tables to layout a web page is a very big no no...
    It is extremely difficult to create a good layout using tables, the more complicated the layout the harder it gets.
    Tables do not lend themselves to fluid or responsive layout, in fact, they will most likely break when the screen resolution does not match that in which the web site was created.
    There are much better, purpose built tools for layout; CSS. You can tighten a nut with a screw driver, trust me I've done it, but why would you if you've got a spanner to hand.
    If you decide to alter the way your web page or site looks you will have to rebuild your tables, which typically will take ages, especially if you have many pages all displayed using tables. With CSS it can be done in minutes!
    But perhaps the most important reason is that the web is supposed to be a semantic medium. This means stuff does what it says it does. For examples, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are used to Style web pages and Tables are used to display "Tabular data"!

Stay away from designing with tables, your life will be much less complicated, your sites will be much more adaptive, and you will be helping to keep or make the web and the data it contains semantic and logical!
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paul
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my defence, my original post is about 2 years old now... Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:04 pm    Post subject: Apologies! Reply with quote

My apologies!

In my defence, I didn't check the date of the original post just the one I replied to. (24th Dec 2012)

Anyway, no harm meant or done I hope.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, no... that's quite alright. The same reply was probably perfectly justified 2 years ago. Wink
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