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Why follow the W3C standards

If you're fairly new to the world of web programming, you might have stumbled upon a website called - this is actually the World Wide Web Consortium, and their goal is to develop web standards.

But why should you follow these standards? These are actually standards that are followed by most of the key players, namely Google. And why would this matter to you? Well, when their bots crawl your website (to index it in Google), it will look for certain markup (HTML code), which might gain you favor in their search results - we can also refer to this as SEO (search engine optimization).

I used Google as the key example so far, but remember that pretty much all of the other large search engines do the same thing (Yahoo, Bing, Ask, etc.). That's one of the most important reason as to why you should be following the standards.

Some might not actually care about their rankings in the search engines, so why should they follow these standards? The answer is simple - these are put in place to simplify things for everyone. If people stop following standards and do their own thing, then there'd be no consistency and we we'd be facing a massive mess of code/markup (also referred to as speghetti code).

Lets go over one of the best business examples - say you hire new employees, and it'd probably be fair to say that you want them to hit the ground running. If you didn't follow any of the web standards, then they'd have a much harder time learning the system. Not to say that HTML is at all hard, but if it's nicely composed vs. having 10 nested tables, then they'd have a much easier time working with it.

I'm not saying that everytime should follow this verbadum, as most sites can be beautifully layed out (markup wise), and still fail the w3 validation. This doesn't mean you should go and completely change it to validate. Minor issues are of no consequence, but this is just my opinion.

Well how can I tell if my site is up to standard, you ask? You can actually go to and it'll check your site and let you know what's wrong with it. Please note that this also depends on what your doctype is set as.

If I've missed anything, or you feel that I've made any errors, please feel free to comment.

jon | August 07, 2012 | Comments (1)


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