Using tables for layout for the whole page or just for a part of it such as header, footer, menus has some drawbacks:
This problems can be avoided by using CSS-based design.
Here are the benefits of using CSS to create the layout and format your content:
- The HTML code on each page is much cleaner
- The CSS file is cached from the very beginning, and this speeds up the load time for the next pages
- The update process can be performed much faster: it is enough to modify a single file to change the entire site, no matter the number of its pages.
- The content and presentation are separated in different files.
- The content-to-code ratio is increased, wich makes the page structure easier to read for both the webmaster and the spiders.
- The browser compatability is increased - CSS-based web sites are compatible with PDA and mobile phone browsers. Also, people with various disabilities (mainly visual) use what are called "accessibility readers", that translate the HTML code into various formats that contain no HTML tags.
- The search engine rankings are increased - Search engines spider will be able to index your pages much faster, as the important information can be placed higher in the HTML document. Also, the amount of relevant content will be greater than the amount of code on a page.