Ah, recently I have been using a lot of css and heavy use of background images on sites. For some obscure reason I have this overwhelming feeling that I was cheating somehow and that I should be using borders, bg colors etc to create the layout.
I have had this feeling for quite sometime about a range of issues about CSS, although (mostly) standards compliant I felt that I was getting lazy with my css’ing. Hacking, just get it working in IE without understanding exactly how I achieved it, some interesting floats, that sort of thing. Part of me felt that my code should be pure and untainted, but what a shot in the arm this is.
Thankyou ‘A List Apart‘:
Lesson No. 12: Background images will make the difference between the plain and the tastefully embellished
Thanks to the vagaries of the CSS box model, mixing proportional and fixed dimensions within a layoutâ€”in other words, attempting an elastic layout with lots of bordersâ€”is a sure way to disaster (or at least considerable grief). However, you can create the illusion of that mixture by creating well-composed background images and referencing them properly in your stylesheets. Self-directed experimentation is recommended, particularly with regard to the behavior of borders.
Another common task for which I believe background images are appropriate is the replacement of headings with bitmapped type. Though arguably contoversial, the practice of combining the background-position and text-indent CSS properties makes it possible to give search engines and screen readers what they need, while also providing the high-quality visual experience for which most graphic designers strive.
For the record, naysayers should know that Iâ€™ve yet to encounter any personal computer users who routinely browse the web with stylesheets enabled and images disabled. While that scenario leads to an intriguing intellectual exercise, Iâ€™m presently confident that it bears little relationship to the way people habitually browse the web in the real world.