Div Layout vs. Table Layout - Web Designing

Most of the web designers directly chose the table based layout for their websites. Reason behind this is it's very easier to design a webpage rather than going for div based layout or the web designers are not that much familiar with CSS. But there are lots of drawbacks in it.

Page Size will Increase

Table has lot of inner tags like TR, TD, TH and each inner tag will have separate styles in it. Need to write styles for each and every tag. Surely it will increase the page size and because of that downloading speed and the network bandwidth will get increased.

Whereas in Div layout, it's just the single tag Div, all the styles can be declared in the CSS files, which reduce the web page size.

Page rendering will be slow

Page rendering will be slower in table based layout, because page content won't be displayed until the end tag of table reached. But in Div based layout, rendering will be faster, since it won't wait for the end tag for the content display.

Difficult to maintain

When we want to change the design in an existing page, it's very difficult in table based layout, because code impact will be more. Whereas in div based layout, it's very easy to change the design, because everything will be handled in the CSS.

No Consistency in pages

In Div layout, there will be a consistency in all the pages, but in table layout if we miss any parameter like table border, padding or anything, entire content will be changed and will not be consistent in all the pages.

Separating Content and Visual Presentation

In div layout we are separating the HTML content and the visual presentation, so it's make the search spider of the web page to act in quick manner. Whereas in table layout, extra HTML pushes the important content further down to the page which increase the time to render the page.

Search Engine Tools

Div layout helps the search engine tools to search faster when compared with table layouts, since its need to traverse several HTML tags.

Div Layout - Less Code

<div id="Header">...</div>
<div id="Menu">...</div>
<div id="Content">...</div>
<div id="LeftPane">...</div>
<div id="footer">...</div>

Table Layout - More Code

<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" border="0">
<td colspan="3" height="120px">....</td>
<td class="Menu" valign="top">...</td>
<td class="Content" valign="top">...</td>
<td class="LeftPane" valign="top">...</td>
<td colspan="3">...</td>

Excess code slows down development and raises maintenance costs. More lines of code means, larger size which means longer download times.

So go for Div layouts instead of table layout. Use table layout only to display the tabular information and not in all the areas.

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