May 18, 2011

Why using Tables for HTML structures is IDIOTIC?

Maybe a decade ago, when CSS had no existence, people had no other way but to use something like tables in order to implement website designs! However, earlier today, I was discussing with a guy (a so-called professional web designer) about revamping the website of the JEE coaching institute I studied in (ImpaCt) and I was SHOCKED to find that guy was so adamant that he wanted to remain with the table structure even when I said it's plain OBSOLETE! Dude, tables are meant to show data, not design the whole page!

Lets look at the facts why he is WRONG!

Faster Loading Pages:
If we use tables, all information is stored inside an html, php or asp file, whereas in div structure the visual data is stored in a css file, which gets cached in the browsers memory. Now, it doesn't take rocket science to figure out which loads faster, does it?
Quantitatively, it takes 2-4 times longer for a table based page to load! And do you like to wait? It means tables are a strict no-no!

Lowered Space Requirements and Hosting Costs:
As all visual info is stored in a CSS file as compared to the redundancy in table based structures, space requirements in case of divs is far lower. As the webpage requests for the info again and again in the table structures, the amount of bandwidth required is also less in case of divs.

In case of a div-css approach, redesigning is as easy as snatching a lollipop from a child. Just change values in a single css file and the whole site is modified! Isn't it good?
In the other case, (Mr. Web Designer, I hope you are reading this) you'll have to change values in each page! You still like that? And did you know 'time is money'?

Better results after Googling:
Technically known as Search Engine Optimization, you'd like your website to rank higher than others in case of search results, right? There are various reasons why tables hinder that:
  • Smaller file size help crawlers to search your content better (remember, using divs, you only have content in your html files).
  • As there are less number of tags, it helps crawlers to search the content better.
One thing evident about these web designers is that they do not want to change their style of designing pages using tables. Why? Mostly because they DO NOT want to learn something new- CSS! I agree CSS can be tricky at times, but come on, it is way better than the clumsy tables!
If you design websites for a living, increase your competitive edge and learn the current technology that is powering web design – CSS. Tables are just obsolete! Although booting up an application such a Dreamweaver and creating a table-based layout is quick and painless, you’re not really learning anything by letting the program do the work. Every Tom, Dick and Harry can do that!

In case you still don't want change, have a look at CSS Mania and let me know if you can create those by using your table structure!

And for others, especially beginners, just say “NO” to table-based designs!
(or as Robin would say- No, no, no! No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no! No, no, no, no, no, no!)

Before we say aideu, did I mention that dude said he had an experience of 6 YEARS!
(All I can say is even 6 months ago, I had no idea about either of these structures :P)

Liked this post? Have any suggestions? Just let me know. Feel free to comment below!

4 responses:

t.v.vignesh said...

Nice post and its true.. Actually i was working on changing my website to CSS. And this means that the web designer u r talking abt is nt professional.. And one more thing..
I hope you typed it wrong. The web designer wanted to change CSS TO TABLE and not the other way round. Chk it out. Keep posting SEO related articles. That will bring you good traffic to the blog.

ds_mik said...

the web designer had a table structure and wanted to stick with it, whereas i want him to change to divs

in this post, by css, i mean using css in making the structure of a page

(even within the table structure, he is using css in elements not related to the structure; like a few paras here and there)

Parikshit @IITG said...

Tell Manav Sir to fire him and recruit you instead. :)

ds_mik said...

nah, i have better things to do instead
and technically, his wife, who is incharge of the topic, did support my idea :P
even though that guy was sayin the site would be down for some 72 hours!

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