westchester web designerIt’s hard to believe that just a few short years ago, the World Wide Web was something of a Wild, Wild West — a mostly uncharted, unregulated and unknown medium.  Today, there are still cowboys designing websites.  Shockingly, the World Wide Web Consortium (http://www.w3.org/) estimates that less than 20% of websites are standards-compliant!   While these sites may look great, often they crash and burn upon usage or when seen on various browsers.

Today, there are standards that ensure the reliability and usability of your site.  The careful site designer employs valid HTML, which, put most simply, is the language of websites.  You may see the more cryptic term, “valid table-less HTML/CSS” and read about “standards-compliant mark-up” – but don’t be confused, we are talking about a website written in acceptable, uniform “regulation” language.

Why bother with this layer of site-design scrutiny?  Here are the reasons you need standards-compliant HTML:

Cross Browser & Platform Compatibility
Your website looks and functions as intended across all popular and mainstream browsers on both Windows, Mac and Linux computers (IE, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera, Mozilla).

Future Compatibility
Even though a non-compliant page may display fine in contemporary browsers today, non-compliant pages are not guaranteed to work tomorrow. As the web continues to evolve, non-compliant sites will experience major functionality issues or may not function at all.

SEO Ranking
Web standards ensure clean coding, making it easier for search engines to accurately index your site.  Compliant sites are favored over non-compliant sites in Search Engine rankings.

Ensure that the greatest possible number of visitors can actually view and use your site, inclusive of visitors with handicaps like blindness, color blindness and poor vision.

Scalability & Ease of Maintenance
Conforming to standards means your site can be easily extended, in case you want to expand in the future.   Save yourself time and money when you upgrade!

Faster-loading pages
The compactness and clarity of standards-compliant code decrease the file size of Web pages.  Smaller-file pages load faster.

Error-proof pages and Debugging
Standard-compliant HTML ensures that you can apply style and layout consistently.  Errors are handled the same way across platforms and browsers, making it more likely that your site is error-free.

Is anything lost by complying with standards?  There was a time when compliance limited creativity.  Today, compliance makes sites much less fragile, allowing for the most creative site design.

For more information on HTML-compliance,  please see Site Development.  Or let us take care of it.  When you need a business website that does the job, call us at 914-517-2330 or drop us a line.