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Importance of W3 standards

This article is brought to you by Paul Smith.

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.

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.

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:

- XHTML documents conform to XML. XML Tools can double as XHTML tools. - XHTML is an extension of HTML 4.0. It is more user-friendly and streamlined than HTML. - XHTML is a combination of HTML and XML in that it can run scripts and applets that use both the HTML and XML DOM (Document Object Model) - As XHTML grows, XHTML 1.0 documents will be able to interoperate among other XHTML documents making it a more browser transitional language. (Source: www.w3.org)

To conclude, using the standards of web development lined out by the W3 is imperative for users to get the most out of a site. Often, making a webpage W3-compliant is the first step of SEO, a marketing tool to get the most out of your advertising dollar. Validation is easy, and can be completed if a user has a basic knowledge of HTML-editing and FTP (File Transfer Protocol). Using these tools, coupled with the set of W3 standards can save a lot of money and help the site's overall functionality.

About the author
Website validation: http://www.w3schools.com/site/site_validate.asp Take a look through Red Fly’s portfolio, compare to other Irish design firms, and you’ll see that the company has a lot to offer. Web Development Ireland

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