Cascading Style Sheets Versus Tables

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Once upon a time, ‘Gopher’ ruled web development and ‘Archie’ was the mother of all search engines. Since then, there has been incredible advancement in technology and web development has been completely revolutionized.

Today, with web standards being changed every alternate day, Cascading Style Sheets or CSS combines the best of HTML, XHTML and Java into one full package. CSS is one interface through which you can make your web page attractive. Now, geek internet is no longer only for the geeks. We all like pizzas and deserts being served with the main course. You find more tags in codes than anything else with a punch of GIF images and background colour. This is where CSS gains over all.

CSS also increases your search engine ratings but the question is, when CSS becomes a standard everywhere how does ranking make a difference? One can never really say whether replacing images with text makes any difference to a search engine ranking. To quote from a book, “Speaking of accessibility, minimizing your mark-up and using header tags properly will also help improve your search engine ranking. Reducing the ratio of code to content, using keywords in your header tags, and replacing header GIFs with actual text will all help your sites get better search engine results”.

Forgetting semantics, web standards layout still has the massive benefit of separating content and presentation. Tables will lock you into a design. If you need to change it, you need to go into a page and fiddle with the table structure and you can forget about device independence. And forget about those who choose to use their own style sheets.

Tables have few benefits such as laying out forms. But then forms can be seen as tabular anyway, so it’s sound. Tables is only good for old browsers but one doesn’t have any reason to support such a cause The benefits to the vast majority who have more capable browsers will far outweigh the disadvantages to the tiny minority who will see un-styled yet fully functional content. If you want to stay with the comfort of an inefficient hack methodology, that’s up to you. But if you want to push things to their limits and make the most versatile, accessible, lightweight pages possible, make the effort to switch.

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