DIVs vs. Tables
Posted by Nick Niesen on October 27th, 2010
DIVs vs. Tables: What will you choose for your webpage?
Tables have always prompted eye-gouging hissy fits amongst different web designers and accessibility advocates of every stripe. Both the side saddle with myth and have debated in larger part from the conventional ideology.
Why Table layouts were preferred?
Most of us know that prior to the arrival of style sheets, layout tables worked fine with everyone. Experts felt that Data tables were hard and most users preferred layout tables, as they were simple. Most people preferred tables for two reasons over DIVs. Firstly, they were around for a longer period with the web designers. Secondly, they offer a faster method for creating page layouts that are grid-based.
Simple layouts have been amongst the few reasons that have made some users have gripes against DIVs. Again, DIVs have sketchy supports for numerous browsers too. Experts used to feel that it will always be a difficult task of replacing tabular layouts with DIVs. Tabular layouts have mostly similar layouts in numerous ancient browsers (graphical).
Advantages of DIVs
However recently, some of the web designers have felt that DIVs have numerous advantages over tabular layouts. They have found out that DIVs are:
- Having page size much smaller than tables and are quicker in loading on most browsers
- The flexibility of future with further development is there with DIVs
- The source file is much easier for reading
- DIVs are friendlier in terms of different search engines
Reason for which you should shift from layout tables
Layout tables were formulated for providing structures to a data, meaning all the data had a particular variable and they were systematically stored. This was the intended use of the tables. Wide deployed subsets are included in HTML 3.2. Its standard says that tables could be utilized for tabular markup or for layouts.
However, languages in draft indicate that semantic or structural uses are preferred. This matter has even been settled with the continuously growing DIVs support. Experts feel that separating the structural data reduces the cost of maintaining them for the webmasters. Mixing the information leads to increase in ownership cost and less portability in between media and applications. With the use of tables, semantic meaning of the web page is lost. Text-only or speech browsers do not enjoy such layouts. DIVs switching allows the formation of a simple and accessible decipher web page.
How can DIVs give better performance?
Some web designers feel that DIVs can never be a replacement for such table-based layouts. Still, they feel that if browsers can work their act properly, the former can create simple layouts with little hassle. It provides you with an easy and simple environment for changing layouts. There is no requirement for modifying each page in DIVs, which is the case with tables. Again supplementing the data with extra sections are also considered simpler than their counterpart.
The final decision is in your hand
It is sometimes difficult to decide on table layouts and DIVs as both of them have striking advantages and disadvantages. Table poses hard work and extra cost to web owners, whereas DIVs might not be compatible with different browsers. In the end, the decision is in your hand to decide what will it be for your web page: An ancient table or a modern DIV or CSS.