Choosing a Website Layout

When creating a web site one can choose between a CSS-based or table-based website. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type and each one performs in a different manner.

Table based design uses rows and columns to organize information just like in a standard spreadsheet. They provide consistent page designs for all browsers . A site designed with tables, no matter how complicated the design is , will look pixel perfect in all past and present browsers. Managing a table based design is fairly easy but table based designs are slowly losing their popularity. A table based design uses a lot of codes which causes complicated patters to form. One of the biggest problems we see is that it doesn’t separate layout from content. This can affect the ranking of a website. Designs like these are costly to maintain especially for larger sites and are not so popular with search engines. In addition, they weren’t created with web design in mind; they were designed to organize data. Because of this people are looking to other options. On the rise we have CSS or cascading style sheets.

CSS layouts are a bit more difficult and time consuming to create but their advantages greatly override the effort. CSS offers you the benefit of better SEO ! Til now, CSS have been used primarily for text formatting but recently it has been implemented for positioning and layouts. It allows you to split up design and content, which makes it much easier for browsers and search engines to locate and correctly deliver content. It is much quicker to download content due to the smaller amount of codes needed. It also allows you to manage the layout of the entire site with just one file. It is basically based on conceptual coding like floats, collapses, margins and positioning. Another advantage to this style web page is the universal display in PDAs, cell phones and screen readers for the disabled, without incurring additional costs. CSS layouts have a more sophisticated design, which is appealing to eye of the modern day consumer. It gives more allowance to creativity. Because separating content from layout is much simpler, it is easy to try out different versions of an advertisement to see which converts best.

Because loading CSS is much quicker than loading up tables, it is easier for search engines spiders to crawl through a site to get information . Additionally search engines are able to properly acquire content from your site, because the important content is properly displayed, which gives you higher ranking. Using CSS you can arrange your code so that the various search engines will see the meaningful content first, regardless of where it is actually located on your page. This will positively affect your website traffic. CSS has its own effect engine used in place of Javascripts making it more SEO friendly. It is possible though, that a CSS layout may be a bit more limited as to how complicated the design can be as opposed to table based. Older browsers may have trouble with this layout due to the speed (or lack of) that they adopt to the standards. This can cause your final CSS page display to be inconsistent from browser to browser, even from browser version to browser version.

When choosing a web design style, no one is universally beneficial for everyone. it is best to keep in mind what you want to get from your site. For trying to reach a large audience, tables is a better choice, but if you are concerned with standards and SEO, CSS may be the way to go. Keeping yourself knowledgeable in both types of layouts will give you the flexibility to deal with any situation.