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W3C Code Compliance

What is the Standard for Web Page Code?

At WebMaker, we have always set high standards for our sites:
  • Quick loading pages (saving time and frustration)
  • Easy navigation (viewers can get to the information they want)
  • Quality graphics (download quickly, look good)
  • Useful content (this is why viewers come to your site)
  • Search Engine Optimization (your site is developed to work properly in search engines)
  • Validated Code (ensures that your site is viewable in most browsers)
  • Design Flexibility with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

When we first started learning web page design, our initial code was developed using Note Pad. Like the good guys in the Matrix, we looked at the code. No "drag-and-drop" page design tools are used. Programs like Front Page attempt to create web pages based on a printed brochure model; this results in code that is less than optimum and that doesn't display properly in all browsers (this can cost you viewers and lost viewers equals lost income).

We have always kept a sharp eye on the final page size, keeping the code compact and graphic file sizes to the minimum needed to maintain good quality. While more and more people are moving to DSL (now 56% of those online), it's important to remember that many viewers still have dial-up connections. In outlying areas, it's not unusual to have speeds as low as 28.8KPS or slower. Those viewers may not wait to see what your page is about, and you can lose potential customers before your first page is downloaded.

Most of the commands or codes in HTML (Hyper Text Mark-up Language) have both a beginning and an end, a pair of instructions, or tags, to tell the browser how to display the text. The definitions of the HTML tags and the standards for their use were developed and agreed upon by the World Wide Web Consortium.

In early web page design, browsers were not always picky about the code that came across the web. Poorly nested commands or incomplete code tags could be ignored. Take, for instance the bold commands:
   <B> and </B>
and the italics commands:
   <I> and </I>
The commands have a start tag (<B> and <I>) and an end tag (</B> and </I>)

If you want to make part of your text be both bold and italic, the code would look like this:
    <B><I>bold italic</I></B>
This code is properly nested, A-B closed by B-A.

Older browsers would often accept improperly nested commands (A-B closed by A-B):
    <B><I>bold italic</B></I>
Even though the above code was incorrect, it would still work. Such code would not pass validation today.

With the advent of new technologies, people aren't just using their computers to view web sites. Phones and digital TVs do not need to support 'messy' or poorly coded pages. The emerging standard for code is XHTML (eXtensible Hyper Text Mark-up Language). As a business owner, you don't necessarily need to understand the differences or the standards, but you do need to have a web site developer who does!

Some of the new standards in code have strict requirements due to the wide number of devices that are used to access the web. To be more useful to a wide range of viewers, your web site should be XHTML compliant.

Do you currently have a web site? Do you want to know whether your page(s) are compliant with the new XHTML standard? You can use the W3C Mark-up Validation Service and see how many warnings or errors occur, or even if a basic standard has been met.

At WebMaker, we understand the nuts-and-bolts of web page and web site design. We work with our clients as a team to create sites that meet marketing needs, using Search Engine Optimization so that their sites get found, developed with code that is clean and compliant, for fast loading pages in a wide range of environments.

Call WebMaker Design and Consulting Today: 509.328.8680


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West 524 Euclid Avenue
Spokane, WA 99205
Phone: 509.328.8680
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Last Updated December, 2006