W3C: Why We Adhere to Web Standards and You Should, Too

Just because a website shows up on the internet, does not necessarily mean it was made correctly. It also does not mean that the site is guaranteed to show up properly in all of the most common browsers, let alone browsers as old as Internet Explorer 7. The big question then is how do you create a website correctly and make sure it is compatible with as many browsers as possible? That is where the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) comes into play. The W3C is responsible for creating web standards, supplying developers with code validation services, and providing developers with a starting ground to learn a variety of web technologies.

Purpose of Web Standards 

Web Standards lay a foundation for proper web development.  Consider it the solid foundation that a house is built on. When you build on the solid foundation, it is sturdy and will hold true even through some nasty weather. But when you avoid the standards, it cannot be guaranteed to be sturdy in every situation. 

Web browsers are built by corporations and big name companies so they make sure to run on this foundation to ensure that it works. Websites on the other hand can be created by literally anyone and therefore can be done either the right way, or that person could do whatever they felt was right. Web browsers work well with websites that are created by the same standards, but if a developer does whatever they want, some problems could arise.

Code validation services
The W3C provides 3 different validators: HTML, CSS, and Unicorn. Unicorn is a combination of HTML and CSS validators as well as using other web services to help create the highest quality web page. What you can do with these validators is enter a page URL or upload the HTML or CSS file and the validator will check the file against web standards and produce a list of warnings and errors that are highly recommended to be fixed. Since these tools help make sure that web  pages match the standards set by the W3C, very obscure hard to track down errors can be fixed just by running the page through validation and fixing any errors that page may have. 

Starting on the right path
If you are new to creating websites, W3C will be able to help. They have a set of tutorials in various subjects which can be found at www.w3schools.com (link to http://www.w3schools.com).  This is where I started. I went through all of the HTML and CSS tutorials and learned valuable information which landed me the job at The Karcher Group. But the tutorials are not just in HTML and CSS; there is also JavaScript, Server Side Programming, ASP.NET, XML, Web Services, and Web Building information. These tutorials will show browser compatibility when applicable and in many cases there will be a “try it yourself” section where you can experiment a bit. Want to learn to make standards based websites? I highly recommend starting here.

Why follow all of these rules?
Let’s face it, not everyone on the face of the earth is going to use the latest browsers such as Chrome, Firefox or even IE 9 or 10. There are still some out there that favor IE 7 and some even IE 8. If you truly want to become a successful web developer, it is important for web pages to look good in all of these browsers, not just the latest and greatest. Not interested in learning to create a website yourself, but still want a top of the line website that follows all of these standards and works in all of these browsers?

Coincidentally, at The Karcher Group, it is our policy to provide these exact services for you so you can have that top-of-the-line website built by people who care about your business and want to see you succeed.


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