13 Jun 06
28 Oct 07 9:17 pm
It's not so much a problem with people not having up to date "systems" but the fact that not everybody browses the web with the same browser and settings.
1) Browser: It's pretty much Internet Explorer VS the rest of the world here. They have different default style settings (for instance, how much space comes after a paragraph) and different interpretations of rules. Getting things to display the same way in different browsers is a major headache. With "layers" (otherwise known as absolute positioning) your elements aren't displayed in the normal flow of things, so if one thing gets bigger, the other things won't bump down the page. Good if you really want things positioned like that. Bad if you want people to be able to read your content.
2) Different screen resolutions. Unless you create a relatively positioned element and center that in the page, then use absolutely positioned elements inside it, you can forget about having a centered web page. Since layers say "this is 200px from the left and 300px from the top" there's no flexibility for different sized screens.
3) Different font size. If you have a layer that is 400px x 300px and nicely fits your text in it... what happens if you increase your font size (as older visitors are likely to do)? Your text will either overflow the box and run over the rest of the content on your page, or it will be clipped off. Since none of your layers are paying any attention to what the other layers are doing, they're not going to compensate for that.
You're kind of heading in the right direction by using DIVs, which are basically just "boxes", but you need to learn how to get them to be more flexible. It's kind of a hard thing to wrap your head around when you're just starting, which is why so many people prefer tables until they become web geniuses :)
I suggest you give it a go, building a site like this, but keep those points I mentioned in mind so you can see it happening :)
All the best,