How CSS Can Clean Up a Website’s Code

Writing With Tables
Laying out your website page with tables can be very easy and if you are displaying data, then sometimes it can be the only practical solution. But heavy amounts of formatting and tables soon take their toll on your code.

The problem is that if you want more than a simple layout then you start looking at nested tables – where you have a table inside a table inside a table… It gets extremely ugly in the end and if you want to make a change to the layout, trying to figure out which table needs to move can be all but impossible.

Cluttering Your Code
Using tables and formatting in your code means that the actual code becomes cluttered and heavy. Having to spell out the exact fonts and colours for every cell of a table produces a lot of coding, which you might regret when you come to update the style.

How CSS Changes All Of This
You can put your CSS into style sheets and hide them out of the way of your main code. They are there when you need them, but not when you are just updating the text. Using divs with ids you can set the attributes of entire parts of the page remotely. From where on the page it is positioned to the text style down to even the border of the images within that section.

Correctly written CSS moves all formatting to a central file, or set of files. This means that formatting that is applied to every page does not need to be constantly written on each new page, just refer to the section by id or class and call it in.

What Are The Advantages?
As I have already said, you move your formatting to one file, away from the text. This makes the text easier to update. But it also makes the formatting easier to update – for example, if you decide to change the colour of all of your links you just change it in the style sheet.

And because search engines can skip past reading the style sheet they get to the content of the page a lot quicker. This means that they can cache your content quicker, ignoring the formatting. This increases your content to code ratio, which can benefit you in search engine rankings.

It might take a little longer to get used to, especially working out what works across all browsers, but the end results give you a webpage that is a lot easier to maintain and one that should do better in search results.

Source by Keith Lunt

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