I came here because I have a project for my IT class to make a website for a company, and wasn't sure about how to go about some aspects of it. One thing I'd been repeatedly told to do, though, was to create one big table to encompass the entire body, then use the cells to separate different sections, position objects, etc. in the site. But when I came here everything's made without that table. Both methods apparently can work the same but is either one preferable? Or in what case is one preferable, and why? Also, if I were to take everything I've done so far out of the table to do it as most of the examples show, how much time would that take, since I don't have much time to spare?
Well you have been told a big, fat, lie.
Tables are used for one purpose and one only: tabular data.
An Excel sheet is a table, just like an HTML table is... a table, to display the same kind of data.
But certainly not to be used as the skeleton of your project. Ever.
This technique was used in the 90's early 2000's I think. Back then there wasn't as much 'good practice' as there is today, and HTML / CSS were chaotic, to say the least. As long as it 'worked', you'd pat yourself on the back for a job well done. This is simply not acceptable any more, in our day and age.
It's just terrible practice and I can't believe this is what you've been repeatedly told to do.
Unless you went back in time, when all websites used to look like this...
... I would strongly advise against doing this.
It also just seems like laziness if I'm honest. And even though it may seem like easier at first, good luck making your design responsive to all devices. That's a project I'd never touch.
If you're just getting started, please just learn good practice, and design your project with divs, not tables.
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