Importance of W3 Standards

Importance of W3 Standards

When the Internet first began its boom, the technologies used in design were forgiving.  W3-Compliance wasn’t as necessary because there were fewer browsers, fewer users, and overall fewer technologies in use.  With the burgeoning popularity of the internet, new developmental tools are created daily.  With these tools come new challenges – marketing, design, cross-browser transitions, etc.  All of these can be a daunting task for those web gurus who aren’t well-versed in the W3 Standards.  W3 (w3schools.com) is a resource for webmasters and programmers who want the most for their viewing public. 

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There are numerous technologies used by programmers (ASP, PHP, and Javascript to name a few), but this article will focus solely on XHTML and CSS.  W3 has a set of standards for both of these technologies, and making a website W3-compliant ensures that most all viewers will see the site exactly the same way (no matter what browser they’re using).  Validation also helps with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) because clean code means easier search-engine spidering. 

Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS, is a technology often used in sites with many pages to make aesthetic changes easier.  The style sheet is an exterior file that runs interdependently with the HTML (or outputted HTML) of a site.  The style sheet serves as a template for the entire site’s color and font schemes, while also controlling borders, sizes, and more.  Being able to edit a single file, instead of 100s of changes in many files saves time and precious web design dollars.  Validation is imperative to get the most out of a website.  That is, a user can upload or copy-and-paste their CSS file to the W3 site, and they’ll be given a list of any errors it contains.

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 Another of the technologies becoming more popular is Extensible Hypertext Markup Language, or XHTML.  XHTML is an extension of HTML 4.0, and, while in its infancy, has become quite prevalent.  XHTML conforms to standards moreso than HTML.  As such, it is more search-engine and user-friendly:

 

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