I still see a majority of new sites going for CSS driven layouts. They are definitely the now and the future of page layout on the web. Power and simplicity combine beautifully to create simple or complex layouts which are easy to maintain. They have to be planned and structured carefully though.
Well-formed HTML markup paired with well planned, structured CSS doesn't require much tweaking to make it cross-browser compatible.
Resorting to table based layouts merely out of frustration with CSS suggests more understanding and training is required to use CSS to its full extent.
The other theory is that CSS can accomplish the same page with less code than tables can and so it downloads much faster and saves on bandwidth. This saves time, and therefore money and it possibly saves customers who might otherwise not wait for a heavy page to download.
I resisted this transition for a long time because I'm really only a hobbyist when it comes to doing websites but with the help of DW CS4 Templates, I now have 3 sites that are fully CSS-driven with no tables.
Using Templates is THE way to go for beginners who want CSS sites in my opinion. I did have a fair knowledge of the basics of CSS prior to doing this but I was lacking insight and understanding as to how <Div> (table-less) designs worked in CSS.
Templates take much of the frustration out of the equation and put the emphasis on learning. In DW CS4 templates, 75% of the CSS code comes with comments about why the code works and what it's doing. It's very valuable and a natural way to learn.
I loved Tables and I still use them on some sites for other reasons. Oh I've put my time in tweaking CSS but I can't be counted the same as others because I'm fairly less experienced at CSS and not a professional designer.
One more thing: CSS has a unique way of making beginners prematurely freak out, because when the syntax is wrong or code is missing or out of place, you're page can look like a Cyber-War.
One time I entered some CSS into the editable <head> section of a template but neglected to see that I had forgotten the <style type="text/css"> </style> tags to enclose it. When I peered at the design view my page looked split wide open. I figured I had done something awful and freaked out.
are you really spending hours tweaking numerous style sheets to appease various versions of each and every browser out there?
Of course not. That would be counterproductive. 90% of browser rendering problems are caused by poor code and/or Design layouts that are ill-suited for the web.
If you want rock solid CSS Templates that perform well in all browsers, go to Project Seven and grab a couple of Page Packs or get CSS Layout Magic, a DW extension for making your own CSS layouts.
talk to me, and tell me, are you really spending hours tweaking numerous style sheets to appease various versions of each and every browser out there?
For me its just the opposite. Do you want to spend hours of going through all the pain of creating tables an nested tables?
And what if you want to make some changes to your site?
If the css is not working for all browser its in most 99,99% the case of some bad coding which also occurs when you set up an wrong table layout.
I think that developers who are holding on to to tables do this because they are used to it. I for myself had a function that was more server side programming, in that time I hated css layouts because I was used to table layouts. Now that I'm actualy working more or less for my own I've come to love css layouts.
has there been a surge with developers, in that they are becoming anti tableless sites due to the fact that every browser is unpredictable and renders a site however it wishes to?
I don't see the influx of more tables being used or many voices that are soley pro-tables. Infact table mark-up is horrendously stressful to troubleshoot if things go wrong due to the much more complex html structure a table requires.
As for being unpredicatable, sure the IE family of browsers aren't exactly user friendly for a web developer but every new release conforms more to the standards that make all modern browsers interpret most rules correctly.
wouldn't that incur a very high fee for website design? a developer recently told me that many are going back to tables due to such inconsistency and frustration. - every article online seems to say differently and pushes to advocate for pure CSS.
There are a few minor additions or tweaks that need to be added to satisfy IE but nothing which requires any more that a few pieces of code which can be applied via IE conditional comments, certainly not numerous additional stylesheets.
The tables versus table-less argument has run for years. Many, including myself don't like change, so try and hang on to the past. Ultimately you have to move forward or risk being left behind.