• 7 Benefits of HTML Validation


    You may not bother with html validation or writing simpleand clean code when designing your web site. Later you mayfind your site is slow loading, appears incorrectly in themain browsers and does not rank well for the major searchengines.

    Now there are sites that still do rank well even though thehtml code has many errors. This is because most of thecurrent major browsers are still very forgiving of htmlmistakes, however future browsers will become more htmlcompliant as the Internet advances. Sites that have notbothered with html code validation will then fall by thewayside or take time and money to be corrected.

    That's why you should take the necessary steps NOW tomake sure that the code on your web site is validated.

    What is HTML validation?

    This is the process that analyzes an HTML document incomparison to standard HTML rules, identifying errors andnon-standard codes. Web pages are rendered using HTML(Hyper Text Markup Language). As with any language thereare rules and standards that should be followed. Forexample the HTML 4.01 Specification (rules and standards)are available at http://www. w3.org/TR/html4/. You can checkthe html validation of your web page by entering your urlat: http://validator. w3.org/

    7 Benefits of HTML validation

    Why should you do this?

    -Allows your site to be accessible to a larger audience(vision impaired, motor skill impaired, cognitive impaired)

    -Allows your site to be accessed by wider range of devices(hand helds, screen readers, text browsers, search engines)

    -Is a requirement for Federal and State Government sites

    2. Search engine friendly pages - clean and simple codeenables search engines to spider your pages more quicklyand completely.

    Here's an example:

    What's wrong with this code?

    < p keyword1 sentence, well written copy, etc.

    < p > keyword2 paragraph with more choice content.

    Once a spider sees a correct tag further along in the page, then it's back on course. So, the keyword2 paragraph wouldmake it.

    3. Faster Loading - if your web page contains html errorsit will take a longer time for the search engines to spiderit, therefore slowing the loading time. If your pagedoesn't load in under 10 seconds your visitors may clickaway to your competitors' sites.

    4. Less load on servers - clean and simple code won't taxyour server as much as a site which has complicated code orcontain many nested tables. Cascading style sheets (CSS)will greatly reduce the amount of code within your webpages. This will also cut down on the amount of web spaceand bandwidth used thus saving you money for hosting yoursite.

    5. Easier to update and maintain web site - with nomistakes in your html code it is easier and faster to makechanges to your web pages. For web site designers, thismeans you will save time and money when maintainingclients' sites.

    6. Browser compatibility - validated code ensures your siteis compatible with the current browsers and futurebrowsers. You might say "well, it looks fine in InternetExplorer, so why bother with any other browsers?" Currentbrowsers will continue to update their rules and futurebrowsers will make sure they are html compliant.

    7. Access more visitors - if you ensure your web pagesappear correctly in all the major browsers you will be ableto reach a larger audience which then increases thepotential of your site to make more sales.

    Part 2 of this article will discuss:

    What documents to validate
    The validation process
    Validation tools
    Common validation errors


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