Trying out CM's free templates for the first time. One thing I noticed is how bloated they are code wise. There seems to be a lot of tables within tables and empty td's. Am I wrong or are colspan and rowspan not generally supported?
Hi there dano, thanks for your observations here - while we've had to go a bit over the top with the table layouts in the free email templates for the sake of consistency across email clients, admittedly its been a little while since we've had a serious refresh and there's a lot we can do better now. You'll notice that the email templates created via the template builder are a lot cleaner, partially because they've received a lot more attention as of late.
To answer your question, colspan and rowspan are still used frequently in email - even if they've likely been deprecated with tables as a whole elsewhere. And using nested tables and cell widths is still very much the norm, especially as margins and padding tend to be supported inconsistently.
You'll be pleased to know that we are looking towards providing much nicer free email templates in the near future, so please keep an eye on our blog for that. Thanks, dano! If you have any questions about a specific template, we're happy to work through it with you :)
Thanks Ross. I was actually referring to the html I got from the template builder.
Hi Dano, rospan and colspan are widely supported. In fact they've been part of HTML since 1995 and it's unlikely any mail client would exclude their usage.
That said, they do make your code much more difficult to understand and troubleshoot so if everything doesn't add up exactly as it should then you'll end up with inconsistent results across clients.
Luckily, when you're using an automated system all those calculations and difficult to understand bits of code are handled for you so it's much less troublesome than if you were to use these attributes manually.
Hope that makes sense!