There are two different schools of thought when creating a web layout: using DIVs formatted through the use of CSS or using tables or Tag HTML.
Le tables, in addition to having the function of representing data aligned in rows and columns, they are used to build the entire structure of a web page. With tables you can define the layout of a web page in order to arrange the text on multiple columns and obtain even very complex alignments.
I DIVInstead, they are element collectors, these elements define the content either as inline (SPAN) or as block level (DIV), but do not impose any other presentational idiom on the content. Therefore, authors can use these elements in conjunction with style sheets, etc. to adapt HTML to your needs and tastes.
Let's say that the use of tables is more intuitive and certainly easier, you can be sure that the layout is similar on almost all web browsers and any changes could take a long time. The use of DIV + CSS involves a deep knowledge of HTML and CSS, the layout is cleaner and technically fewer lines of code are needed to achieve the same result using tables. The main problem is the compatibility with various browsers: in fact, some CSS parameters can be interpreted differently by different browsers resulting in a modified layout.
The user, however, will not notice if a site has been made using tables or DIV + CSS. Determining which is the best approach is not easy, we can tell you that:
- using DIV + CSS allows you to implement pages with less cumbersome code and CSS can be stored in external files. This would ensure a much faster loading of the web pages;
- if you have chosen to adopt a specific and detailed design it will be advisable to use the tables, as they will make the loading of the web pages fast. “For example, Google offers all its ads through tables”.
Search engines do not care about these differences in code, let's say that the important thing is the quality of the content and the loading times of the pages. Surely an easily navigable site will help the spiders in the indexing process.
Let's analyze the pros and cons of using tables and DIV + CSS:
1. For the Table
- less time in implementing a table-based layout;
- ease of writing;
- few errors found with browsers.
- convenience in development is paid for with code complexity and lack of clarity in content;
- nested tables are not popular with search engines;
- use of a lot of code and difficulty in handling closing tags.
2. For i DIV + CSS
- excellent division between content and graphic layout;
- reduced weight of pages with better loading times;
- ability to change the appearance of the site by editing only one file.
- use of CSS tricks to achieve some graphic effects and make the layout cross browser (some browsers may interpret them differently);
- in-depth knowledge of CSS;
- taking more time to implement a complex layout.
Alejandro Crespo Martinez
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