I support the separation of presentation from structure.

I think it’s admirable we’re moving towards code reuse and modularity.

I’m all for using HTML tables for data and not for page layouts.

This is the perfect world I strive for in building websites. But we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a messy world where clients want visible changes immediately and we’re working within parameters of time, money and energy that we have no control over.

So for all my exhortation against layout tables, presentational HTML, inline CSS and other coding missteps that we try and leave behind, I have to admit that they have their use in this messy world of website building by giving us a quick-and-dirty way to get the job done.

Sometimes the quick patch can be properly smoothed out at a later date. Inline CSS used to make text bigger and change its colour can easily be converted into a reusable CSS class once things have settled down and we’ve got more time on our hands.

But sometimes it can’t. I recently found myself working on a time-sensitive project involving the free tier of WordPress.com. That means no access to a CSS panel. What’s a guy to do but, well, rely on layout tables, presentational HTML and inline CSS?