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Should You Validate Your Web Page?

Should You Validate Your Web Page?

There are many reasons to write valid HTML, XHTML, and CSS and to check for valid links. Here are some of them:

  • SEARCH ENGINES. If you want your site listed on search engines (and who doesn't?) then make sure that you have good HTML. Many engines cannot properly catalog or index a site that has serious HTML errors. This can greatly reduce the amount of traffic your web site receives from search engines.
  • BETTER, FASTER RENDERING. Properly written HTML will render better, render on more browsers, and render faster than HTML with errors. It's also more easily adapted to print and alternative browsing devices like mobile phones and other handheld computer devices.
  • A CONSISTENT DOCUMENT OBJECT MODEL (DOM). Bad HTML may cause different browsers (and different versions of the same browser) to generate different DOMs. This can cause CSS to render differently and make it more difficult to write JavaScript that works properly on different browsers.
  • FUTURE-PROOF. Properly written HTML is more likely to be future-proof (backward compatible with future standards and future web browsers).
  • LINKS THAT WORK. Broken links can quickly drive visitors away. How many times have you been annoyed when you found a broken link?
  • AVOID UGLY PAGES. Problems such as "ugly" pages caused by poor HTML constantly drive visitors away from web sites. Do you want your web site to be one that customers will leave because of poor quality?
  • THINK IT'S ALREADY GOOD? If you think that your HTML is good the way it is and that you don't need to check it (as many people think), then let W3C Validator check your HTML to prove that you're right. Chances are that you'll be surprised and that your HTML has room for improvement.
  • BE STANDARDS COMPLIANT. Browsers are becoming more standards compliant, and it is becoming increasingly necessary and important to write valid and standards compliant HTML. W3C Validator will help alert you to HTML that is not standards compliant and that may cause viewing problems for visitors.
  • BEWARE OF WYSIWYG EDITORS. A WYSIWYG editor is no excuse for not producing good HTML. If a WYSIWYG editor does not produce good HTML, then it should not be used or its output should be fixed manually. Newer WYSIWYG editors are better but many still have problems writing correct HTML.
  • HAVE DYNAMIC PAGES? Having a site with dynamic pages is also no excuse for bad HTML. W3C Validator lets you easily check the HTML output of your dynamic pages. If the dynamic pages are outputting HTML that is full of errors, then the pages should be fixed.
  • BETTER RENDERING. Writing error-free HTML is the best way to help ensure that pages render optimally in as many browsers as possible. This includes older browsers and browsers that are yet to be developed.
  • WRITE IT ONCE. Write it right the first time and write it once. Write it wrong, and you may be writing it again later.

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