This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

Using absolute positioning (AP) divs for web page design

I have been teaching computer graphics software for fifteen years now and I promote "best practice". For web design, that means steering my clients towards practices that will work, and away from those that are either out-of-date or too new to be stable.

An example of a practice that is out-of-date is using "frames" to design web pages. Here is an example of a page I created in the late 90s. You don't see this "antique technique" much any more, and for good reason. It just plain stinks. I stopped teaching this technique in the early 2000s.

A practice that is still, unfortunately, in use these days is the use of "tables" to create structure. This was a very clumsy way to create page structure, and was replaced by CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).

But CSS has its problems, too. The most widely-used browser, Internet Explorer, has always had trouble displaying pages created with CSS. For years now, any page that is created in CSS must contain "hacks", which is special coding to compensate for Internet Explorer.

A couple of years ago I updated all of my pages from table page structure to CSS page structure. To be sure that all of the "hacks" were in, I used the Dreamweaver templates, and I recommend that to my clients. I don't recommend trying to build CSS pages from scratch and I don't recommend using absolute positioning (AP) divs. Most web pages look and work better with structure. AP divs allow you to "scatter" things all around the page. Actually, it's kind of fun. Here is a page that I created for my dog, using AP divs.