Why Web Standards Matter

At Shape Shed we have a philosophy of hand coding websites to International Standards. Why go to the trouble of validating code? This article explains why and outlines the benefits we can give to our clients as a result.

The problem

The Internet is growing very quickly. New platforms, technologies and browsers are emerging all the time. With so much innovation going on there is a real danger that a plethora of platforms and technologies will leave web development behind. In short the web is becoming more complex and less standardised.

A simple solution

Thankfully as early as 1994 this problem was identified and the World Wide Web Consortium emerged. W3C, as it is more commonly known, promotes common protocols for web developers to follow.

What does this mean for clients?

Most clients are understandably not interested in the latest developments. But new media managers and those responsible for internet content should ensure that websites are compliant with International Standards. Valid code is relatively simple to achieve and has numerous benefits.

Benefits for clients

  1. Valid code is search engine friendly. Search engine spiders are built to read sites by scanning code. If the code is invalid there is a danger the spider will not read your site. This can have dire consequences for your site ranking. Valid code results in better, more consistent rankings. You will find that you may not have to engage in search engine optimisation at all if you have valid code.
  2. Valid code displays consistently The Internet has a myriad of different operating systems and browsers. Almost all of them will display valid code in a consistent manner. Coupled with some design principles this means your site will work and display correctly wherever or whoever is using it.
  3. Valid code is more extensible than invalid code. In short the overheads and time needed to update a site or to move it to a new platform is less. Valid code helps to future proof a website.
  4. Valid code is more accessible than invalid code. In the UK, the Disability Discrimination Act stipulates that websites should be usable by disabled users. Valid code is an integral part of making a website accessible.
  5. Valid code is good quality control Validation is part of our commitment to quality. Our clients are entitled to expect their website to work and function correctly across a range of platforms and browsers. It is our responsibility to ensure this occurs. Our commitment to valid code is part of our quality assurance process.


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