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  1. Bridget Stewart

    Sounds like covering up a half lie with another half lie. Apart from those few wrapper elements the site won’t be slower at all, and wrapper elements don’t have an impact on future flexibility.

    That isn’t true at all. The images required to make those rounded corners look round add up in bandwidth for complex pages. And then the images for the gradients and the processor usage needed to tile them… Oh, and heaven help you if any of it needs to use transparent pngs and you have to add filters or javascript to make it all look nice without gray backgrounds showing through. (Just to list a few very common scenarios.)

    Every single one of those things adds up and when you are dealing with a browser like IE6 that is slow as molasses to begin with — throwing images, filters and javascript at it certainly doesn’t make things move faster.

    As for future flexibility, every single one of those images being used to replicate things that CSS3 can do is far more time consuming, therefore costly to a client, when they have to be swapped out because a branding, color, or “we just want to freshen things up” change has to be implemented.

    It’s also restricting in that you won’t use the stuff that you don’t have at hand because CSS doesn’t provide it (yet). This restriction becomes more apparent when comparing it to designing in Photoshop where basically anything is possible and designers, especially the ones coming from print, will use whatever they please.

    If CSS doesn’t provide it yet, then Photoshop/Illustrator/Fireworks/Whatever isn’t going to help you make it so. If you are designing something that a browser cannot render at all in a flat file, why are you wasting that kind of time? If you are designing something that a browser can render with some fancy footwork by the front end and/or back end developers, Photoshop wasn’t the thing that made it possible. It was the talent, knowledge, and craftsmanship of the person/people who made it work for the browser.