What if I Don’t XHTML vis-a-vis W3C Standards?

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Not a tad, more than your website won’t be visible to everyone, you would loose your SEO score, and your reputation would be tainted.

The coding standards laid out by W3C are not a decree that are to be followed religiously. But then, expert XHTML Developers do follow them religiously. The reasons for this are numerous. With new type of tools and technologies, it gets inadvertently difficult to comply with all the factors- designing and cross browser compatibility per se.

Designing a website in compliance with W3C standards mean that your website would be viewed by all the people exactly the same way, no matter what Internet browser they use. I would forgo listing the technical standards in this article; W3C.org explains them in detail. The essence of W3C complaint standards is that the code should be clean, semantic and systematized. And a clutter-free and semantic code clearly mean a SEO friendly code. So if you are following W3C coding rules, you aren’t just entering a herd race, or following the rules laid out by some web-established punditry; you are adorning your site with the best possible XHTML and CSS that offers many advantages.

How To Check if your Website is W3C Validated?
Many clients give their PSDs to XHTML conversion companies, who claim on offering a 100% W3C validated code. But seldom do they know how to check their authenticity. After you get your coded design back, you can check its authentication with the W3C Validator Tool at http://validator.w3.org/. You can check them by three ways:-

  • Validate by URL
  • Validate by File Upload
  • Validate by Direct Input

A 100% W3C Validated Website would show the result “Passed”, with no errors or warnings. But if a page is not coded according to the exact W3C standards, it would display the “Errors” and “Warnings” in number, along with the detailed report of the bugs.

The “Errors” refer to the mismatched coding vis-s-vis W3C specified coding. Instance, element “META” undefined, end tag for “img” omitted, etc. This points out the areas where the programmer has not used the W3C standards.

The “Warnings” are a kind of recommendation and not bugs. For example, If a developer has defined color attributes twice in a CSS, it would show this as a warning.

This is the basic step for measuring the W3C qualities of any Web Page. So next time when you get your XHTML back from your client, do check its W3C validation!

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