Tableless Website Design
With the Cascading Style Sheets waters thoroughly tested by many sites that have taken the plunge, it’s time for us to start cheering from the water below, coaxing and encouraging those who haven’t yet jumped in, to make that jump. There’s no longer any reason to use tables for layout, nor is there reason to maintain multiple versions of a site solely for different desktop browsers. Throw the tables out first. Trust us, they’re not needed anymore.
Tableless Web design is a method of web design and development without resorting to the use of HTML tables for page layout control purposes. Instead of HTML tables, style sheet languages such as CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) are used to arrange elements and text on a web page. CSS was introduced by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to improve web accessibility and to make HTML code semantic rather than presentational.
Early in its advent, many web developers considered CSS a more powerful and easier to use way of formatting, and considered the <FONT> tag obsolete. On the other hand early CSS had very limited and difficult to use layout capabilities and many common page layouts (like the 3-column design) that were very easy to implement with tables had no obvious equivalents in CSS.
As of 2006, the situation improved considerably. However, many popular browsers have limited or buggy support for these newer features of CSS, which has slowed the adoption of table less web design. Many websites still use CSS for text formatting only, while using tables for layout.