Tabled Discussion

Code Collective

This is a freaking scary to be reading in November 2006:
A professional company that still thinks using tables is good for for presenting information and better than CSS-positioning. Someone over there needs to get with the times. What makes it more embarrassing is that is written by an Australian at NetRegistry.

Come on, Guys, Read your last comment from Steven Hambleton:

For all those who are ‘dabbling‘ in web design then, YES, tables are fine, just leave them out of ‘professional‘ web design.

As professionals we are bound to make sure our sites are cross browser supported and that especially includes accessibility. For bigger sites, the bandwidth costs are nothing to be sneezed at.

Of course CSS can be used with tables but tables are meant for tabular data. Think of an Excel spreadsheet. What kind of data would you put in there? Not a resume, that’s for sure!

Taking the time to learn CSS and non table based layout means you take the web industry seriously as a professional.

4 thoughts on “Tabled Discussion

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  1. You also have to take into account that the search engines, specifically Google, give a much higher ranking to a well designed (i.e. standards compliant) and accessible design by default.

    So besides the, mentioned, savings from lower bandwidth you get the added benefit of more traffic.

    It really is sad to see how many sites still use tables for layout. I suppose the high cost and time involved with redesigning versus the (perceived) small returns weigh out in the end. I wonder how many developers mention that besides higher SEO redesigning the site well could also include traffic from CSS galleries that feature compliant CSS designed sites.

    Great post.


  2. Hello @BogeyWD – thanks for the affirmation.

    Yes, saved bandwidth is very important. I have friends and associates who are still on Dial-Up: They rarely traverse the internet because they find so many sites take too long to download.
    Thankfully more and more webmasters are hearing this and changing their designs accordingly.

    Recently I downloaded an entire site that a local web-business completed for local a small-business: Each of their pages exceeded 130kbs. A quick peek at the HTML revealed tables within tables within tables and tonnes of deprecated CSS!
    Within only six hours I had completely revamped the site, using the same color scheme, a new CSS-postioned layout, rebuilding their imagery to match/suit the new layout: Each page is now less than 12kbs.
    Now I am in the quandary of whether to tell the business what I have done for them. My wife has an idea that I could tell them I’d like to revamp their site, wait a week, then show them a SCREENDUMP of the site. Sounds like a good plan to me.
    @BogeyWD, Your thoughts? Your site shows that you might be the best person to answer this question – but I’ll accept answers from anyone on this issue!


  3. It’s hard to say. You have to wonder if they’re using a CMS, which could add to the page weight and cause some of the tables. If it’s a strictly static based site, then that might not be an issue but if it’s dynamic you might run into trouble converting to the new design.

    Approaching them and discussing the savings associated with reducing their bandwidth 90% versus a one time redesign would probably be fruitful. They might not go for it, but they might be open to the idea.

    If not, you can still use it as an example to future clients. That’s pretty impressive to be able to reduce it so drastically though. Show them the bottom line return and they could go for it.

    I’m still early in my skills/sales development for web design, but that’s my two cents. With the work done, you have nothing to lose – just don’t play your ace card too early (as your wife suggests).


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