Debunking SEO Myths – follow up

As a follow up to my previous post (Debunking SEO Myths – part 1):

After getting some flak for my less-than-aggressive stance against the use of html tables for webpage layout and reading through a great article from: HotDesign (http://www.hotdesign.com/seybold/everything.html) about why using “Tables for Layout is Stupid”, I felt I should reconsider my stance on the use of tables. I still maintain that tables can be used to hold tabular data. At least that is what they were intended for. The problem arises when you start using tables for layout.

As the web continues to evolve and html 5 becomes commonplace, related technologies need to grow and adapt as well. CSS is the evolution (revolution?) of web design. The above article did a great job in clarifying this point and really driving that point home to me.

To those of us trained in the usage of html tables, they just seemed to make sense in using them for page layout. Sometimes it seems easier to stick to what is familiar then to accept that there is a better way to do things (something this writer is guilty of :-)). The above article mentions that there are some things that are just easier to do with tables. However, if you were to list the pros and cons of both, tables for layout fall tragically short.

Tables were never meant to be used for layout purposes. They were only meant to hold tabular data. Using them in such a way is now actually interfering with building better, more accessible and flexible websites. Not only that, but they can and do interfere with SEO efforts (gasp!). Many sites are now forced with a daunting task of going back and re-coding all of their legacy websites in order to bring them up to new standards…especially with the advent of mobile websites (hey, no one ever said that the web was static right?).

The simple fact of the matter is that the benefits of using CSS are certainly not limited to its use in table-less site design. It is time to throw out the old school thinking and move towards a brighter future of low-bandwidth, table-less website design. This writer is now a full-fledged convert. No longer will I use tables…CSS all the way!

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