When it comes to your free CSS template, you will need to think about whether the design will work for your chances of SEO. SEO is very important if you want your website to be found on internet searches. The better your SEO then the better the chance you have of being on the first page of the search engine results. You will need to take time with this and be patient.
If you are using a template that is full of tables, you will struggle to add SEO effectively. In fact, by adding the words in tables, you are more likely going to look like spam to the search engine, which will harm your search engine rankings.
Columns are generally a good way of laying out your writing for the reader and also offer a way to effectively use keywords. You can write in detail in the columns without repeating the same word over and over again as a list, which is what tables will end up doing.