What are ‘tables” and why is it bad to use them for web design?
Tables are one (outdated) way to display items on a webpage. This used to be really popular in the early stages of the internet and web design, as it allowed to keep things in place on the page. They are read by search engines, however they are read in an order from left to right and top to bottom. If your first ‘cell’ in the table has an image, the search engine won’t pick up on the much of the content until it gets to the second or third cell, depending on what you have in there. It’s better to use something called a ‘div’ instead, but it takes time to understand how to position them properly with CSS.
It often takes more time to load the page when using tables as it adds bytes to the page. The lower the bytes the better. Also, the page usually loads per cell, so it’s like a puzzle coming together, versus showing the entire page at once. Tables are semantically incorrect to use as a page layout. And they make life very difficult for screen readers.
If you have a site that uses tables for the layout, you may want to consider changing it over to a div-based site, in order to rank higher, load faster and increase traffic. Opinions vary, but it seems that Google only reads the data in div’s and not in tables, as tables should be used to display data in a chart like fashion (like Excel spread sheets), like price lists, or overview of features in a number of company packages for example.
If you have an outdated website with tables, give us a call to see how we can optimize your site. We can create a dynamic site which will be visually appealing at an affordable price.
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