What are the Advantages of Using Web Standards?
- Machine Accessible
- Complying with web standards can give your web pages greater visibility in web searches. The structural information present in compliant documents makes it easy for search engines to access and evaluate the information in those documents, and they get indexed more accurately.
- User Accessible
- Accessibility is an important idea behind many web standards, especially HTML. Not only does this mean allowing the web to be used by people with disabilities, but also allowing web pages to be understood by people using browsers other than the usual ones – including voice browsers that read web pages aloud to people with sight impairments, Braille browsers that translate text into Braille, hand-held browsers with very little monitor space, teletext displays, and other unusual output devices.
- Most web standards are generally designed with forward- and backward-compatibility in mind — so that data using old versions of the standards will continue to work in new browsers, and data using new versions of the standards will “gracefully degrade” to produce an acceptable result in older browsers.
- Developer Agnostic
- Because a website may go through several teams of designers during its lifetime, it is important that those people are able to comprehend the code and to edit it easily. Web standards offer a set of rules that every Web developer can follow, understand, and become familiar with: When one developer designs a site to the standards, another will be able to pick up where the former left off.
Separation of Content, Style, and Behavior
|Markup for content, presentation, and behavior must be kept in separate files whenever technically possible.
- Modular, Reusable Code
- Easier to Troubleshoot problems
- Keep designers out of your programming
- Using CSS layouts means less work to do later for accessibility
- Keep all the style information in a separate cached document.
2. Markup Validation
|All markup must include a standard DocType, and validate against that DocType.
- In order for modular code to work between different sites and programs, they all need to adhere to similar standards.
- Markup may work in current browsers, but may be taking advantage of how these particular browsers render markup. The only way to ensure that a site will continue to work fine for the next 5-10 years is to build it with valid code.
3. CSS Validation
|Main CSS files must be validated, with any necessary invalid CSS (browser hacks) quarantined in separate files that load only when needed.
- Leaving browser hacks in the main CSS can lead to sites breaking when the next version of a major browser comes out, such as what happened with IE7.
- Modern browsers will not need many of these hacks, so keeping them in a separate file will make their browsing a bit faster, and put less strain on the servers.
- Use IE conditionals to hide “IE” stylesheets from other browsers.
- Star hacks, Underscore hacks, and all the rest are fine for initial development, but need to be moved into their own files before production.
|All markup must comply with the standards of Federal Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- University Policy and State Law require all sites to adhere to minimum accessibility standards.
- Search Engine Optimization
- Sites more accessible to people are also more accessible to machines.