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  1. #1
    SitePoint Guru
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    Using CSS skills to sell to potential clients

    Some time ago, I was trying to explain to a friend why I code with CSS instead of tables. He was not technical to understand the difference. Despite my effort, his resulting question was "what benefit does CSS have to the client". At first I said "none. most clients don't care or want to know how you do it. they care about results". I still believe that to be true however....

    When I explain to a client - who wants some empowerment over their site -- that I write "clean code" and how easy it will be for them to make minor content changes, it gives them peace of mind. To make the point further, I show them table-based layouts which presents a maze to navigate.

    Some clients don't want to rely on someone else to maintain their site but they also don't want to become technically minded. They want control, and I don't want to be bothered with swapping out a .jpg for a small site. So, it's a win-win.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Centauri's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Probably the biggest selling point of table-less layouts for the client is accessibilty - search engines can better index the site, and people with disabilities can make more sense of the content.

  3. #3
    Guru in training bronze trophy SoulScratch's Avatar
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    Client: Please change the background for the header to a darker shade of blue.
    Oldschool Developer (using tables): Aww, are you sure? Then proceeds to edit 400 files or if he's smart does a search and replace, still has to commit to CVS or SVN, and reupload all those files
    Newschool Developer: Sure! Then proceeds to edit a hexadecimal value in one css file.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Tailslide's Avatar
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    I'd say that apart from a quick mention about using modern standards of coding to ensure maintenance is quick and easy (cheap) plus the legal requirement of accessibility in websites - I wouldn't bother going into details as the vast majority of clients just don't care.

    I'm one of those designers who spends hours in the middle of the night worrying about the semantic value of one element as opposed to another and how to improve the accessibility of (insert element here) - but I quickly gave up on the whole "lecturing clients about standards" thing - it's a waste of time.

    If the client asks for something that I'm not happy about doing then I'll go into more detail about why I won't do it and why that's a "good thing".

    It might well be wrong but they're more interested in the price and what your previous work looks like.

    If they're already impressed with your stuff/price then standards and accessibility are a good line to give them as an Added Value item (it reinforces to them that they've made the right decision) - but I don't think that they'd sway a client either way by themselves.
    Little Blue Plane Web Design
    Blood, Sweat & Rust - A Land Rover restoration project


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