Is it a requirement to create HTML email templates in HTML Table?

There is a course on udemy, and also a similar course on linkedIn published oin 2014, and many blogs that advocates email templates creation in HTML tables.

Cant modern tools such as flexbox and grid be delpoyed to create email templates, and yet they remain compatible with email clients such as: Gmail and Outlook etc.

Those who are in to creating HTML email templates their insight will be very helpful. Thank you so much.

There are so many email clients on the market. I wouldn’t recommend using other then the absolute standard HTML tags to create emails. Please remember that there is a world outside of Microsoft and Google :slight_smile:


Please elaborate. Do you mean restrict to HTML table for creating email templates?

My personal experience is that even standard html tables are show completely different in email clients if you just start to use things like padding, spacing etc. so I try to use as less html design in emails as possible.


The only reliable way cross browser is to use tables and inline css.

There’s a good article here that explain it all.

Have fun :slight_smile:


Modern browsers are quite good at keeping up to date with the latest HTML and CSS spec.
But for Email clients, it’s a different story. Support for modern coding is very inconsistent. Some clients do support modern HTML/CSS but many of them are way behind. This is why many advocate using very old style coding such at HTML tables and in-line CSS, exactly the sorts of things that are discouraged in web page design.


In short it can be a bit of a nightmare. Essentially you have to return to the 90’s and good ol’ tag-soup with inline styling.

I don’t know if things have changed, but for instance outlook express used to use the microsoft word render engine for emails. This meant dealing with nice little page break lines introduced into your design.

One trick for styling was to put css in the head, and duplicate that inside the top of the body. Some email clients if I remember would strip the head css out, so the duplicate was a fallback.

As Thailius pointed out though, best to keep it simple. I think that’s why many just rely on Mailchimp and it’s default templates.


What’s worse is that some email clients would strip any css apart from css that was inclined in the style attribute. Even then only the basic css would be usable.

Things like positioning and even simple things like padding and margin seldom worked properly. That’s why table cells were the only reliable way to lay out a page using very old school methods and deprecated attributes.

There are tools available that will let you create the css above the html and then inline it in each tag for you which saves a bit of work.

The reason that some clients strip css is because it can break their email ‘window’ as inserted css could override the clients default appearance.

Newer mobile clients are better but desktop apps like outlook are still a problem I believe.

The main thing is to test in as many email clients as you can. :slight_smile:


Event today, Outook uses some sort of simple Word version. And it is crap.
It does accept moder html, though.


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