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  1. #1
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    CSS or Tables??

    I'm still rather new to this whole affiliate marketing, for the last month or so I've been cramming everything I could find on it.

    There is the issue of the delivery vehicle or HTML. I done a couple hobby sites in the past(with frames OMG) but that was years ago and I didn't learn much more than the basics.

    Currently I've thrown up a content site to start with, submitted and waiting for the bots and editors to come look.

    The wait is excruciating, I've done my homework and attempted "some" SEO for each page. Affiliate links are not included yet because of DMOZ editors. Here I wait and brainstorm my next site, but have hit a wall.

    Site layout is my biggest problem, I HATE complex tables.. looking at the code makes me want to not work on it There's the issue of stretching, spacing, positioning, nested tables, whole bunch of tiny positioning tables if you used some sort of layout tool.

    When I want to add things I gotta scroll around and decipher which cell I'm actually in and hope it doesn't shift something into the wrong spot or break some other layout you just finished perfecting.

    So I read some more and ran across CSS positioning which looks perfect for my needs BUT so many articles mention compatibility issues. What are the pros and cons of CSS vs Tables for site design and layout concerning compatibility and ease of use? (yes that is my question finally)

    Sorry if this post was a bit long winded.

  2. #2
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    I'll give you the short answer to a long question. There are compatibility issues with tables too. Maybe they're not at serious as some of the CSS issues but oh well.

    I'm with you on the tables, I've pretty much abandoned them. The nice thing about CSS is if the stylesheet doesn't load, your page is still readable, if a bit ugly.

    Another great point is 90% of web surfers use IE 5 or above. The other 10% is divided up amongst a bunch of different browsers. Some that support CSS and some that down. I'm not going to lose sleep over that small a percentage of people that MIGHT have a problem.

    www.top-computer-savings.com

    The header is a table but after that, it's all CSS.

    SJohnson@NO_Spam_ClickMagazine.Net
    www.ClickMagazine.Net

  3. #3
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    I'm a strong believer of "limited use [of both]" - tables and CSS

    Tables for layout (keeping stuff where it belongs) and CSS (for the look and feel).

    HTH

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli
    </font></p>

  4. #4
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    I forget the details, but a table has to be scanned by the browser two times because it cannot begin to render the table until it knows where everything will go.

    Add one nested table and that number jumps to 5 scans. Click Magazine took forever to load until I broke up the main table into divs. Add more nested tables, the more scans you have.

    That was the only way to make it a tollerable download. Now that I'm getting the hang of it, I won't go back to tables.

    www.wired.com

    The entire site is CSS. Very impressive.

    SJohnson@NO_Spam_ClickMagazine.Net
    www.ClickMagazine.Net

  5. #5
    Sgt. Joe Friday frank3iii's Avatar
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    Check out some of the resources in this post:

    http://abw.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x?a=tpc&...9&m=9926009234

    Frank

    "Just the facts, Ma'am"
    Sgt. Joe Friday, Dragnet

  6. #6
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    My opinion is that is that in affiliate marketing, as long as the page works and looks fairly decent then that's all you need.

    I use tables for the layout and CSS just for simple formatting. It's easy and quick to do and means that I can get more pages done!

    ________
    "All your commission are belong to us." - Slimeware Corporation

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador DesignerWiz's Avatar
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    I agree with SJohnson about over usage of nested tables .. these are a definite "load time killer" if you have multiple tables w/nested tables within. Haiko said it right .. use either/or with limitation .. is the best bet.

    Ray Thomas
    DesignerWiz.com CEO
    Development Resource & Javascript Public Archive Center
    http://DesignerWiz.com
    ABW Board: Category: Programming / Coding

  8. #8
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    ask your question here...
    alt.www.webmaster
    You'll find it in Google Groups.

    Compare prices and features of over 100 different web hosting plans. http://www.IceIsHot.com

  9. #9
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    Haiko's advice is right., both in moderation.



    I will add that I like to keep the code and pages as dumb as possible. No crazy dhtml, Flash, etc...You need to make sure the site can be crawled by the search engines

    <hr>
    Leave the gun, take the cannolis.

  10. #10
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Designing a web site for affiliate marketing purposes doesn't require the skill set of a corpoarate brocureware type site. Some day I'll get motivated to redesign EcomCity when the dust settles and the networks and merchants reward the design efforts. Too much effort on diversion -mass advertising and cookie interference to get me motivated.

    Right now I, like most, just direct shoppers to merchants whose sites are designed to convert. That means just clearing space for placing merchant links -pre-sell (SE fodder) and some showcase displays. Tables are a real drain on HTML glut when using MS Frontpage.

    I still get a kick out of throwing together a few nice sites for clients on skimpy budgets with a weeks worth of passion. Getting any of them to provide content, photos and site purpose is a real PITA. Guess if I charged a more reasonable rate they'd take the sites seriously. Here's a couple that use tables I threw up for under 1000.00 and the clients just let languish, as they're too cheap to spring for upgrades.

    www.raphaelinternational.com (was hairwaves.com but they forgot to pay the domain fee) www.400monroe.com who promised multiple big money site work from their client base. www.mid-westernprocesses.com who thought 500.00 was a little expensive.....LOL

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador Nova's Avatar
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    those websites are great Mike,
    Did Charlie helped you?

    Well done!

    ------------------------------
    What does the COC stand for? Crooks Overwriting Commissions.
    Don't worry! Tracking is infected!
    ------------------------------
    Love Life to the fullest. we only get ONE chance! :-) !

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador DesignerWiz's Avatar
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    Good job Mike!

    Ray Thomas
    DesignerWiz.com CEO
    Development Resource & Javascript Public Archive Center
    http://DesignerWiz.com
    ABW Board: Category: Programming / Coding

  13. #13
    Newbie Affiliate Ian's Avatar
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    Very nice Mike. Very very nice

    Ian Lee, M.Sc.

    Internet Marketing Strategist / Affiliate Manager
    EYI, Inc.
    ilee_NO_SPAM@eyi.us
    http://www.eyiproducts.com/affiliate.html
    604-596-9766

    Personal Sites: ADS-Links.com | HealthCastle.com

  14. #14
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Charlie has a bad habit of chewing up or pooping on the site content notes. Sometime I can save the designs and for re-use on other projects like www.sidewinderblades.com I did for an old high school buddy and fellow boater. It's a gas to hear a client complain they now have to read e-mails and answer silly phone questions from non-local prospective customers.

    I don't know if these laod quickly on dial-up but they're designed to get page views and solicite e-mail/phone business.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  15. #15
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    www.Suspenders.com

    The first time I looked at this site I said, looks like something Mike would make. LOL

    [quote]
    CLICK HERE to see why the 21st Century Man will "Always be Up for any Occasion".

    My favorite line!

    SJohnson@NO_Spam_ClickMagazine.Net
    www.ClickMagazine.Net

  16. #16
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    Definitely CSS wherever possible moving your css out to a separate file and not redefining your stylesheet on every page.

    Benefits include HUGE page load speed increases due to the problems you mentioned, one time browser cacheing of stylesheet file for use on multiple pages and Keyword to page weight improvements due to much lower on page formatting. Don't forget also that most browsers cant change properties set in CSS so you have more chance of delivering layout in the way you intended. Search engines love css. If you dont believe it build 2 identical pages, one tabled and one css. Pound for pound the CSS one will kick the tabled ones A$$ in the SERPS.

    You can't avoid using tables and when you do, sacrifice a little bandwidth by closing off your tables wherever possible so that they can be displayed individually rather than nesting them. Never use tables for page layout. Use css to define your main spaces and tables for containing data.

    CSS layout does not require full page load to display and its contents are displayed line by line. It also reduces file size by a large amount. Become aware of different browser CSS handling and work around it. Most layout can be achieved while honouring all browsers.

    Any page load speed increase puts more money in your account.

    [Edited to add link] glish.com This is the best site I have ever seen for this kind of thing. (Check the PR!)
    <font face=verdana size=1 color=43639C>Parasiteware - Any software, process or method that aims to make money by avoiding any involvement in the sales process apart from hijacking transactions that have been created by the hard work of others.</font>

    [This message was edited by DPG on October 23, 2003 at 07:20 PM.]

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