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September 11th

Oh. My God. I say this because I have been praying for this day to never to come. So I had an unexpected freelance assignment this morning. After hours of setting up, my first project was… an HTML email template.

No!

Sitepoint has an article on how HTML emails are an affront to the WebDev gods. So imagine coding a standards-based page in about a hour but instead you are coding a table-based, inline-css abomination in triple the time.

Still. I have tips to tame heathen email templates.

Pawn it off to someone else. In my case, I was the help. Anyway…

Design in IE. Like I said, it’s bizarro world. It is a lot easier to work in IE than other modern browsers (ed. That may not be true.  I think firebug frakked up Firefox’s default css file).

When in doubt, put in a table tag. The table tag is the most flexible thing in HTML templates. So stick one or five in a td tag is necessary.

Valign=”top” is your friend. Use it often.

Avoid border-left and border-right if possible. This is the case for layouts. This way you do not eff up the dimensions.

Breathe. It’s only one page. Sure, you’ll do such a great job that you might get a couple more email templates coming your way. In the end, most templates are very simple to do even if the coding is unnecessarily complicated.

Or you could just wait for all the email clients to have standards. I won’t hold my breath.

Go home