Our goal for this project is as straightforward as can be: to take an HTML-heavy design and convert it to use CSS-driven layout. In so doing, we'll explore how commonly used HTML structures and tricks can be replaced with vastly simpler markup and CSS, and how doing this makes the document markup a great deal easier to read. When we're done, we'll take some measurements to determine just how much of a savings our effort has yielded.
We'll assess each portion of the document as we reach it, so what approaches we'll take aren't known ahead of time. We can still articulate some general goals:
The number of images on the page should be reduced to a minimum. This will have the dual benefit of making the document structure much cleaner and also reducing the potential number of server hits required to display the page.
All tables intended solely for layout should be removed. When we're done, only tables that contain data appropriate for a table should remain.
The markup that results from our conversion should have a strong structure; that is, headings should be enclosed in heading tags such as h2. Furthermore, the content should be in an order that makes sense if the page is presented with no style at all.
The final product should look as much like the all-HTML design as possible. While there may not be a perfect pixel-for-pixel fidelity between the two, we should do our utmost to minimize any differences.
If we can fulfill all of these goals, we'll have done something fairly remarkable.