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website design : css website design

Although css website design layouts have been around for years, they haven't become so commonplace until recently.

This was basically due to limited browser support (especially from Netscape 4) - nowadays though, CSS 2.0 (which introduced positioning) is compatible with over 99% of browsers out there.

So, why should you convert your website from its current table-based website design layout to a CSS website design layout? Here are three reasons to explain why:

faster download speed

web pages using CSS for layout tend to have much smaller file sizes than those using tabular layouts. It's not unusual to see reductions of 50% or more in file size when switching from tables to CSS. Smaller file sizes obviously mean faster loading pages.

css websites download faster than websites using tables because:

Browsers read through tables twice before displaying their contents, once to work out their structure and once to determine their content.

Tables appear on the screen all in one go - no part of the table will appear until the entire table is downloaded and rendered.

Tables encourage the use of spacer images to aid with positioning. CSS generally requires less code than cumbersome tables.

All code to do with the layout can be placed in an external CSS document, which will be called up just once and then cached (stored) on the user's computer; table layout, stored in each HTML document, must be loaded up each time a new page downloads.

With css you can control the order items download on to the screen - make the content appear before slow-loading images and your site users will definitely appreciate it

Additionally, css can be used to replace JavaScript image rollovers, again allowing a large reduction in overall page size.

search engine rankings

A higher search engine ranking

A CSS-based website will appear higher in the search engine rankings for three reasons:

A higher search engine ranking means more site visitors, which, provided your website website is usable, should lead to an increase in enquiries or sales.

Increase in reach

The more people you can reach, the more visitors you'll get to your site and the more enquiries

or sales you should get. A CSS-based website website is compatible with PDAs, mobile phones, in-car browsers and WebTV.

Don't underestimate the importance of this: In 2008 alone an estimated 58 million PDA’s will be sold and one third of the world's population will own a wireless device.

You can make an additional CSS document specifically for handheld devices, which will be called up in place of the regular CSS document, thereby ensuring your website is accessible to this lucrative market. This isn't possible with a tabular layout.

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