Web Standards and You

Did you know there are Web Standards that web sites are supposed to follow?

Most people don’t. Unfortunately.

Why do standards matter? Here are a few reasons:

  • Improved searchability.

    Coding to web standards helps search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and MSN index the content of your web site better and more accurately. This in turn allows your clients and prospects to find you more easily, and conduct business with you (rather than your competition, some of which have certainly figured this out already).

  • Greater consistency.

    By designing and coding to standards, we can help ensure your web site is visible to people regardless of if they run Windows, Mac OS, Linux/BSD or other operating systems. Your site will look good on all browsers, including Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Opera, and others.

  • Cheaper to maintain.

    Using standards means that your site can be maintained by competent web developers without having to re-invent the wheel. When you make change in the future — with your existing development firm or a new one — they will be able to spend less time figuring out what’s going on, and more time producing the results you need.

  • Better future-proofing.

    Web standards are published “rules” that web browsers strive to interpret properly. By coding to standards, we can help ensure that new versions of web browsing software won’t “break” your site (prevents the “Hey Jim, I just downloaded that new version of Netscape and your top navigation disappeared!” scenario).

  • More accessible to more visitors.

    Screen readers for the disabled, and screen zooming/magnification for those visitors with poor eyesight, work best when they come across a site that is coded to standards. Ensure you’re part of your entire community by demanding your web site be coded to standards.

Automated testing

Here are some links that run this site through automated standards-compliance testing software. Check it out for yourself!

  • XHTML validation

    This automated test checks the validity of the code that contains the content and structural layout of this site.

  • CSS validation

    This automated test checks the validity of the style instructions (graphic design, visual layout, colours, fonts, etc.) used for this site.

  • Accessibility (U.S. Government §508 compliance)

    This automated test performs key validations of site coding to ensure compliance with an important accessibility metric, the U.S. Government §508 compliance guidelines.

More information

Here are some links to terrific articles written about the benefits of standards-compliance and why it matters.