I recently witnessed an argument between two friends that centered around whether HTML or CSS was more important. I’ll have to say that I believe they are equally important, though if I had to choose one or the other I’d pick HTML. HTML has a slight edge because of its nature.
You can’t build a website without HTML. This is the language of the web. Your website might not be pretty. It could just be a plain white background with words and hyperlinks on it. Believe it or not, there are still some web pages out there that look like this. Those pages you made in 1995 – they’re still there.
While you cannot build a website without HTML, you can build one without CSS. However, CSS allows you to do things that HTML will not. In 1999, people were using tables to do a lot of things with graphics and text wraps, and such. Well, they quickly found out that search engines couldn’t crawl the tables and therefore all perceived SEO benefits were lost. But that’s not so with CSS. Everything you could do with tables – and more – you can do with CSS and still reap the SEO benefits that you get with HTML. That’s a powerful tool.
So which is more important – the tool without which your website wouldn’t be possible (HTML) or the tool that allows you to design graphically enhanced websites with greater functionality and increased SEO benefits (CSS)? In this juncture of our history I’d have to say that you shouldn’t try building a website without either. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.