IE8 : page buildup visible on loading

I recently changed my IE browser to 8 and started to notice a weird and slightly annoying effect on my site. It is difficult to describe but I’ll give it a try here. When a page loads, you can see how IE8 builds up the whole structure of that page. If there is a table, you can see it fill up the cells from top to bottom and from left to right. It all happens in a blink of an eye, and the total loading time of a page is just as fast as in previous versions of IE. But the building-up process is clearly visible, and this is sometimes annoying because table-cells quickly move from right to left or change width according to the amount of content in them. Something that is a bit more annoying is a white ‘flash’ in the background, probably because the default background of my site is black but it is only filled step by step like the rest of the page.

In previous versions of IE or other browsers I never had any of this. There it always was an ‘all or nothing’ situation : for a fraction of a second the screen is black, and then you see the whole page at once. That is the effect I would like to have as it is probably the smoothest way to browse around.

So ofcourse my question is : how can I avoid this buildup effect ?

Here is a link to a page on my site where this is sometimes visible : . (you might want to click around a bit in the menu to really notice it). I should probably add that some parts of the layout are pretty old (2003 era) and I wouldn’t be surprised if it had something to do with a div or table attribute that is now outdated. But I can’t really find it myself so I’m hoping someone else could point it out.

If I were you I would start working on a css/divs only version of your site. (obviously for TABLES, use tables ;P)

If you’re in for a funny read check this out:
(it will also answer your post)

Agreed with table reduction unless the content is table data. Even profielnieuws, the most table-ish-looking part of the page, is more likely really an unordered list or even a sequence of divs with the same layout.

That aside, what happens with table-layout: fixed in the css for the tables? This changes how a browser calculates table widths.

That said, in Firefox I see some older (always tabled, usually nested) sites do the build-up thing… the slower my connection the longer I get to watch it. I don’t think I’ve seen a non-tabled site do this.