difference between layout table and css positioning

IMO, performance claims made in the absence of benchmark testing are the definition of hype. Thanks Rami and interesting analogy. I’ve heard the argument that reduced code helps with SEO, with people saying that too much code makes it harder for Google to parse. However, know that the industry has moved on. An HTML element with this property works the same as static and they differed by setting the right, left values to the ancestor element.. 3. Of course see load times above which now seem to be one signal Google looks at. I fought this very same battle using tables back in the 90s. My point is that there are other ways to achieve this benefit. I’m still using the spacer.gif to tweak spacing. If the human eye can’t tell any difference, then what’s the point? Creating and defining the overall layouts remains a strong suit for CSS Grid. There is nothing wrong using CSS and Tables. I REALLY don’t have any desire to fight that battle again. Great debate. One debate I’m honestly curious about is the best way to go about table type content with CSS, such as using the actual table properties, using display: inline, using float: left, etc — where’s that write up? Modern CSS - so many layout choices. DIV/CSS allows designers to change the entire look and fill of the website by only … It sounds like you’re good about keeping your code clean, but more code means more chances for error. Feel free to skip to the Summary if you think you’re comfortable with all the above-mentioned concepts. What the css vs tables debate is really about is whether or not to structure a web page with tables or divs. In fact I use them all the time when I want to present data. 3)Stop using Dreamweaver to code websites for God’s sake.Give .NET websites (Aspx) a try,you will be amazed.And,for what you want to be shown in all,you just do a master page.Plus,divs are NOT cross-resolution.You have to add fixed dimensions everywhere,and positions screw up in mobile resolutions. Legacy Layout Techniques vs Modern Layout Tools. But clearly there are many people who support using tables. If you’re asking about the latter that’s a good question. Still it’s hardly the fault of css that IE has bugs. Perhaps this is the reason this debate keeps going on, because this change doesn’t look like progress to a lot of people and they feel the benefits don’t really outweigh the intuitive design of tables that make design a lot easier for beginners. I’m surprised this debate continues, though admittedly I’m continuing it right now after the question was raised on my small business forum. I’m glad your process works for you, but that doesn’t change my opinion. I agree that you’ve made a case for flexibility, but I don’t think your post demonstrates that divs/css are the best way to attain this flexibility. Proving that the css layout loads 10ms faster (20ms when I just ran the test on your site) doesn’t exactly endorse using tables instead? This argument usually includes the time taken to learn to use divs, which isn’t a fair comparison. As networks improve the speed advantage becomes less meaningful and for a small site it’s not going to be a big deal either. For now, I think the best way is a combined layout. What’s the difference? ... you have seen differences between absolutely and relatively positioned elements. It was difficult (and very confusing) at the start, but I’m now completely clear on why it’s a better approach. I believe What’s best in a given scenario depends mostly on the skill set of the person doing the job. By the way if something you followed here didn’t work for you, you could have chosen to ask me if I’d help figure out why and I likely would have. As we know the table's cellpadding and cellspacing attributes are removed in HTML5.. My primary UI guy is a CSS ideologue and spends half his time fighting with stylesheets to make it work in every browser. Sure you can say they just need to learn more, but sorry, they didn’t. 2)Less code?No.Comparably,table-based websites are having much less lines of code to write.Because,you are also writing the CSS,and it’s always not one file.So,code is much much less. As far as I know I’ve never provided 100% of the code to any of the sites you’ve developed, which would mean the issue isn’t necessarily my code. It’ll probably be a week or two before I have the time to really look, but if you email me the code I will look. The problem is people looked at divs and just mimicked what you could do with a table cell. As I see it, table layouts have precisely two advantages: 1. I’m lucky if I can still remember 50 words in Spanish. You have to be writing code telling specifically telling them not to reflow. We are going to create a ‘standard’ web page layout – with a header, a left side navigation, a content area and a footer. I can’t go selling a 10 MS speed advantage to anyone and expect them to take me seriously. Very interesting information. How is that more maintainable? Table cells are the only elements in HTML that expand and contract based on adjacent content. Developers need to realize that it’s okay to use tables when you have to display data and you need to use divs when you have to create layouts. The tool emits old school attribute heavy html tables but I wrote a little javascript parser that seperates things out into clean html and css. Plus, since it is a responsive table CSS design, accessing the table on the small screen devices will be an easy job. Probably the first idea is that come to your mind is that you don’t want to use positioned grid items, but maybe in some use cases it can be needed. Having done programming I understand reusability of code and the ease of making changes in one place for large websites, but this is little good with small sites. The first line starts with *{ }.This means to apply whatever is between { } to all elements on the page.The reason for this is that different browsers process the space inside and outside elements in different ways. Sure if in some Mexican sweat shop, 5 year olds were parsing pages for Google that may be true, but parsing text is as basic as programming gets other than typing “hello world” on the screen…I really doubt that’s an issue for Google, or Yahoo spider programmers. I can’t tell any discernable speed difference between a table layout and a CSS layout’s load time. One example, is to have a banner across the top, a “side banner” down the left, with a background image that must align with the top banner in the corner, and then content within the area below the top banner and to the right of the side banner. Your layout is really one that’s pretty easy to code. The CSS position property defines, ... no other element on the layout will be affected. Tables should be used when a bunch of blocks need to depend on each other, like maintain the same height, or to cooperate in filling their parent’s width. If tables confuse you, I think you are a lost soul. Assuming no major errors I think the search spiders will get through your code fine whether it’s css or tables. Again it’s probably not a huge difference either way at this point. I’ve been a designer for over 20 years and been using tables for layout for 13 years. To suggest that the purpose of divs is to use block rendering contradicts the argument that tags should have semantic meaning and not display meaning. (Don’t laugh, my skills probably saved my job.) But, you can still set padding inside the table cells easily using the CSS padding property. It’s quicker to develop with tables – Nope. And yes it is true that you don’t much need extra code to get things to work for IE. Believe me, the clean code you talk about it gone. Whatever works to get the job done you know? It has values like left , right , none and inherit which I think, are self-explanatory. It is in lists of links in one column and descriptions in another column, with more data in a third or forth column. When people are having trouble getting a css layout to look the same across browsers it’s usually more to do with the skills of the designer than with css itself. With Google’s latest algorithm update (Caffeine) emphasising page load times as a SE ranking factor it is now more important than ever from an SEO stand point to reduce the amount of code on a webpage. If I tired to reply to your comment in Spanish it would take me hours, even days, to put together a few coherent sentences. I think you’re asking legitimate questions and I’ll do my best to answer. Right or wrong, I LOVE spending most of my time designing. That you had a problems on a site you were developing doesn’t mean my tutorials aren’t accurate. If I ever learn CSS completely, I’ll use it more often as you can’t fight progress but I’ll never discount tables from the equation. But I guess when all you have lying around is a hammer then every problem looks like a nail. And all of this is absolutely hilarious when you attempt to make it work in multiple versions of IE and every other browser, let alone on an iPad or iPhone. I thought my question “BTW why ‘css layout over table layout'” was clear from the context but apparently not. It only suggests that the difference in load time isn’t a lot per page. Then I had to make changes to one site and thought there had to be a better way. In addition there are the little seemingly obscure css properties that need to be inserted to make certain things function properly in general, or with older browsers. You do have to put in a little time to learn how to layout a site with css, but once learned it’s not hard to do. And here’s what I’m referring to you saying in your post: “The problem most people have when learning to use divs is trying to force them to act like tables instead of allowing them to be what they are.”. That extra pass at the code makes table-based layouts take longer to display. However if you don’t need this right away I am planning a post on setting up a 2 column layout with css in the next couple of weeks. CSS Grid outshines at dividing a page into several sections or defining the correlation in terms of size, position, and layer. You don’t need 3 columns in your header. I have to disagree with this. I don’t want to use tables but I’m finding it harder and harder to justify not using them. Do a search for css vs tables or similar and you can find a lot out there. If your dealing with a site that was built with tables then you’re probably going to continue using tables on that site. Sometimes they write for things called “tabloids”, or articles of paragraphs arranged in tabular form. This is one of those debates that never seems to go away and I guess I’m not exactly doing my part to make it go away with this post. The one that continues using tables is because it does not dominate or does not know CSS. Also I said speed isn’t the main reason for choosing a css layout over a table-based layout. There are also dozens of other methods I didn’t mention. It’s only when you don’t specify the value that browsers might use different defaults. Whats the main difference between float and a position property (absolute,etc) HTML & CSS. Let me start by letting you know I fall on the css side of things. If you’re constantly having to fix old code though, I would recommend looking into the feasibility of redeveloping the site. Could you send me a link to the page? Regarding Google using load times, does that mean that if your server is on a lower bandwidth connection, or on a slower server that Google will hold that against you, or do they have a way of disregarding those variables and just base it on how long each page would take to load if bandwidth, lag and server response were constant? Most of the time though, that relationship won’t be 1:1. CSS is very useful for styles regardless of how you do the layout. Specifically, it would take more than one div to create a row cell structure… so when you need to display data in that structure it’s actually exactly the same amount of html whether you use a table or nested divs. The div element isn’t visual like the table element. I think making your structural elements independent is the better option. May be my knowledge, however tables work great! Most of the sites I create are for small businesses averaging around 10 – 60 pages. The only time I ever use tables anymore is to quickly horizontally and -vertically- oppose an image or something else on a temporary coming soon type page. I don’t understand why it would be easier to update content using CSS more so than tables. Learning how to use Dreamweaver is not the same as learning to write the code. Hopefully people will start accepting table-cell or something similar. Can you recommend several online tutorials on how to lay out a web page with divs, as well as with their accompanying css rule elements? My point about flexibility isn’t simply flipping columns. (Yes, I like clean code too.) css vs tables WRONG! Yes, but you can get it done just as quickly with css. This is no small drawback!! Items misaligned, trouble getting the position of floated elements, absurd hacks, you name it. If you’re so convinced tables are better than css then go ahead and use tables. CSS Position. That should tell you something. 1) Inconsistent Browser Support – Different browsers will render CSS layout differently as a result of browser bugs or lack of support for various CSS features. Times have changed. If you need to create a modern site that supports an older browser, CSS imposes huge costs. I’m going to remain open minded and give CSS a chance! 2. Relative. I’m really struggling with whether to learn and use CSS for layout. If you read the post you’ll see I never once said you couldn’t use tables. They aren’t called floating blockists. What I’m saying is the entirety of your layout shouldn’t be one table inside another inside another. In this article, you’ll learn how to use CSS position: relative and position: absolute through ample amounts of demos, and learning aids.. CSS position is sometimes considered an advanced topic because it can do things that are somewhat unexpected. Let me also say that if you prefer to develop sites with a table-based layout, good for you. This is a valid way to produce the same effect as table's cellpadding attribute. So what difference does it make? I find it hard to believe that anyone who honestly knows how to develop a site well with both tables and divs would ever choose to use tables. So if you feel strong emotions regarding CSS layout, don’t respond. I never broke any of your layouts or created display bugs in whatever you produced. Those arguments alone should be enough to tip the scales in the argument. They don’t need a lot of fancy features or tons of content. It’s not going to bother me at all. You can’t break out of the rigid grid easily. All you really need to do float the customer service phone number and search form to the right. For me this debate is less css vs tables as it is divs vs tables. And server space/bandwidth doesn’t seem to be an issue anymore either. You can use css with a table-based layout. Everything should be able to reflow the way you want with css. Positioning property is basically used to alter the element's natural layout flow position on the page and customize it according to our needs. Tables are still very useful for layout given that most sites are still essentially boxes that never move, but adjust in size as needed. In this article, you’ll learn how to use CSS position: relative and position: absolute through ample amounts of demos, and learning aids.. CSS position is sometimes considered an advanced topic because it can do things that are somewhat unexpected. and all the content stay within that container. It doesn’t lead to the need for more tags and it doesn’t require workarounds. A div-based layout is: That might not seem like a lot, but just those three things are enough to make a div based approach better to a table based approach. the ability to do this is what switched me from using the table-based layouts I was first taught. The limiting factor isn’t the language itself, it’s your current skill with the language. If I misinterpreted that I apologize. 1)Flexible?No.Tables are much more flexible due to fixed positions.Yes,fixed positions.You just have to set the positions and hey presto!Your site as you want it! Not only because it ever so often varies between browsers, but also because CSS has a lot of ways to position an element, all with various (dis) advantages. Then there is hours of adjust here, adjust there, view, adjust …. It doesn’t once you know the one or two places where there could be an issue. This series of articles will thrive to explain the possibilities you have in positioning. You can respectfully disagree, but I’m still going to say you’re wrong. I agree with using divs and css to display content for what I think is a pretty simple reason – if I want to change the look of my site I can write a new style sheet using the same div IDs and the site is suddenly completely different. Home / Blog / CSS / CSS vs Tables: The Debate That Won’t Die. It’s not hard. The problems I run into are on updates: adding a few lines here, and changing the text there. Just change the template file. I’ve seen these performance claims for div over table all over the web, and many of them assert “much faster”, rather then simply “faster”. My questions and concerns are genuine and not an effort to get CSS lovers to defend themselves. Tables are simply not faster to create. This ensures that the float behaves as expected and helps to avoid issues in certain browsers. Feel free to email me and if you don’t mind waiting a bit I’ll be happy to help. Calling this debate css vs tables is actually inaccurate. I watched many people struggle when it comes to nesting tables. We’re not quite there yet with what we’d like to do where design is concerned. The complicated css wasn’t a requirement. misinformation spreads on both sides of this debate, http://blog.hotdesign.com/2008/10/what-is-css/, http://www.taylor-graphics.net/eye_clinic/, http://www.taylor-graphics.net/eye_clinic/css/index.css, http://www.vanseodesign.com/css/equal-height-columns/, My Goals For 2020—This Object In Motion Wants To Keep Moving, 2019 Goals Review—An Unexpected Change Of Plans Taught Me A Lot, Happy Thanksgiving—Window Displays, MOMA, and Central Park Images, Review—The Elements Of Logo Design: Design Thinking, Branding, and Making Marks. These properties can be used only after position property is … Let’s see if we can dispel a few myths from each side. Step 2: Go to toolbar -> Basics -> Text input. Laying information out this way is simply more intuitive than floating divs, not from a web standards perspective, but from a “kid puts shapes in the holes” perspective. So, if that’s the structure it uses the same amount of code. You say that people apparently think tables are easier than css because they already know tables, but I think you’re wrong there. Believe me, I’m not making the argument for convoluted nested tables with colspan settings, etc, nor am I arguing against semantically correct documents. You can probably also wrap the code in a blockquote. Second best would be to have a KNOWN set of definitions for how a browser brand will render a certain statement, then we can generate the css file according to what browser, but that’s a work around. Introduction. I just think css is a better way now for the reasons mentioned in the post. Other people would find it just as easy to code the same layout with css. And I’d suggest it’s still debatable that tables do equal columns better. That’s why I wrote this post. One thing I’ve noticed in your tutorials is that your not very accurate with alignment. From what I can see most people who argue against css simply haven’t taken the time to learn to master it. Wow. My biggest concern is if I can design the following website designs in CSS. Thanks! Notepad is for pro’s. Maybe you want to move the sidebar from the left to the right of the content. With CSS you can greatly improve the appearance your tables. How to Turn a Design Image Into a Working Web Page: Part 1, How to Turn a Design Image Into a Working Web Page: Part 2. I really like using CSS for formatting text, lists, positioning, etc. Right now it’s easier for you to code certain layouts with tables. Maybe it’s not feasible in your case, but it might be worth looking into. I wrote a 2 part tutorial on turning design image into a css layout for another site. There are SOME layouts that to use entirely CSS requires an inordinate amount of extremely messy code to represent. Your email address will not be published. “he argument is made by people comparing learning something new to learning something they already know well.”. The first efforts have focused on creating two or more columns using CSS positioning instead of tables, thus allowing for a (complete) separation of structure from presentation. I’ve been coding on and off since the mid 90’s and have been hearing about tables are only for tabular data blah blah blah for years. I think grids are great, but I don’t think you should create them using html tables for the reasons I mentioned in this post. It still ends up being less code than you would use for a similar table based design. I’ve looked at the page you linked to before and have it bookmarked. CSS is a standard across the board. Your tutorials are really only half-done and stop at the parts where css begins breaks down. So in layperson’s terms, CSS Grid presents a larger canvas, while Flexbox offers minute functionality that operates in a restricted space. I have tried to learn css with online tutoring (lynda.com, http://www.w3schools.com/w3c/w3c_css.asp, etc.) I am in the middle of a major project that we tried to code with proper CSS, but it’s incredibly frustrating and time consuming. Topic: HTML / CSS Prev|Next Answer: Use the CSS padding & border-spacing property. With that in mind I prefer divs. What I’m saying though is the problem isn’t css itself. Divs require less code and are less dependent on each other than tables. Luckily, modern sites have actually become pretty basic. Actually CSS Tables are much more flexible than floats. All the “pro-css” designers I’ve ever worked with have tended to be full of shit, constantly creating new display bugs in production. Separate of style and structure is less about whether or not you use css or tables. Therefore, CSS Grid can easily render rows and columns simultaneously. By the way sorry the code in your comment didn’t display. The reason people are still defending table based layouts is because tables are the correct SHAPE for most client specifications, not independent blocks floated to the left, or independent blocks with absolute positioning or independent blocks using any other trick to make them seem like they cooperate. Using display: table-cell would work fine now that everyone uses IE8 or over, but the floating div folks insist on emulating a grid with floating blocks anyway. With equal column heights, yes it’s easier to create them with tables than with divs alone, though if you look at the last of the 4 methods I described you’ll see it’s not hard to create them with divs and css and it still uses less code than using tables. Years ago it moved away from tables and towards divs and css for layout. Nice article. LOL, I’m not advocating tables b/c they are infintesimally slower then divs. This site uses css and works in IE for example as do many, many others. Even though browser compatibility is better (or supposed to be) with tables, the lack of flexibility when I inevitably changed my mind about the design meant I basically had to build the whole site again. Even though I like tables I appreciate it when someone with a different opinion can use ‘humble’ language to support his case. Divs don’t require complicated css. Then I format the text in CSS adding padding and margins where needed. Why css layout over table layout? If you originally decide all your h1 tags should be blue and later want them to be red it’s certainly easier to have your h1 style sitting in a single css file. Just because tables make one thing easier doesn’t make them better than divs and css overall. All indications are the speed thing is a minor part of Google’s algorithm at the moment. Web is great! I don’t offer any advantage per se, on tables over divs. . CSS Grid Layout is a CSS layout method developed for the two-dimensional layout of items on a webpage or an application, meaning it can manage both columns and rows. When using CSS positioning, the first thing you need to do is establish the CSS property for the position to tell the browser whether you're going to use absolute or relative positioning for a given element. it is also used to place an element behind another and also useful for scripted animation effect.. You can position an element using the top, bottom, left and right properties. CSS is coming along. Epic fight between table vs flex vs grid vs float! It’s been years since I wrote more than a few lines of code specifically for any one browser and none of that code is a hack. Neither is true. It’s done by using both Relative and Absolute positioning together along with a few other attributes like z-index and transform etc. I’ve never read about this debate until now, however in the back of my mind I always knew someone(s) was debating it. I do have a very fast development process which involves slicing an image file from my designer, using a tool called Image Splitter. Hopefully I can clear up a few things in this post and let you make your own decision. That is true, but you can have all your presentation in a separate css file while having a table-based structure to your html. With a table-based layout the only way this would be possible would be to go into every page of your site and change the underlying structure. I don’t think the choice is about shape though. Load time is always going to be an issue. I hardly ever have to write more than a few lines of code specific to IE. I think there’s more potential for errors with tables, but I know there are people who can code a search friendly site that’s still table-driven. In fact your reply only makes it clear you don’t know to build sites using divs and css. There are plenty of easy ways to create equal height columns in css. Out of curiosity did you read the post? I think many people who spent the time learning how hold on to that knowledge instead of trying to learn the css way and in holding on to the known create arguments to defend their use of tables. My guess as to why they didn’t learn it as well as you is because it’s actually not intuitive as you say, especially when trying to implement a grid shape with 3 independent blocks. I too started out doing HTML with tables, and as soon as I saw the CSS light, I’ve never been able to see it any other way.

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