Why Use CSS-Based Design
The goal is to harness the benefits that make the technology powerful from a design standpoint: less code, increased accessibility, and easier maintenance, to name a few.
Dan Cederholm from Bulletproof Web Design (page vii)
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) allow for the designer to separate the content from the design. A CSS-based design allows the designer to create a site with much less code than a site with an identical look that has been designed with tables. While tables are appropriate in some situations, a design that primarily uses CSS to control the layout has several advantages:
- The decreased amount of code allows for faster downloads.
- The decreased amount of code allows search engines to easily access the true content of a page, ideally resulting in higher search engine rankings. Search engines rank pages based on their content. With table-based design the page will contain substantial coding that does not relate to the content. CSS-based pages will have minimal extra markup which makes it easier for the search engines to find the content. If excessive coding prevents the search engines from finding the content, the pages ranking will suffer. In addition, CSS-based design allows the website designer to position the most valuable content ahead of less meaningful content, whereas tables present content in the order that it is displayed on the page. Content higher in the code will generally have more influence on search engine rankings.
- CSS-based design is easier to modify than table-based design. If a designer wants to make significant changes to the layout of a page designed with tables, starting over may be the only option. CSS makes it easier to perform routine updates as well as significant layout changes.
- CSS-based design allows a website to be more accessible across various browsers, as well as to those with disabilities using screenreaders and other devices.
If you are interested in creating a new website or having your current website re-designed, please see the packages that are available from Vandelay Website Design.
Published March 4th, 2007 by Steven Snell