By Deane Barker on May 27, 2004

Tables Vs. CSS – A Fight to the Death: So which is better — building page layouts using TABLE tags or using DIVs and CSS? This guy set out to find out. He built the same site both ways, and documented the experience and results.

On Table-based design… I’ve seen that design in every browser I can, under Linux, Windows and Macintosh platforms, and it looks practically the same. It’s rock solid. Score one for the tables.

On CSS-based Design…Building the design in CSS felt much better. The immediacy of the changes and clarity of the code made me feel more in control of the process. […] There are significant savings in bandwidth, too. […] Keeping the layout information apart from the content also provides all sorts of benefits.

In the end, he picked CSS, although I was concerned with some of the browser rendering problems he displays. Like TABLEs or not, they are incredibly stable in the face of different browsers and platforms.

I can go either way. I use CSS for major page layout, but I’ve been known to slap things in table now and again — every situation is different, and you really need to use the method that gives you the results you want at that particular time.