The Significance of W3C Validation

The Significance of W3C Validation

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The Significance of W3C Validation

Who or what is W3C? W3C is the abbreviation for the World Wide Web Consortium. The aim of the consortium is to provide web guidelines that follow a set of web standards, as a means to alleviate non-compliant page coding that’s found in many of the Internets web browsers which are used by millions of Internet users.

Even though these standards are only a guide, and not by any way enforceable, savvy web developers pay heed to the guidelines as set by the World Wide Web Consortium. The ever-increasing implementation of W3C compliant code, is evident, judging by many web design job boards which often request W3C validation throughout the coding phase of developing a website. W3C validation is becoming more critical these days, particularly because more and more websites are being built in full CSS.

The first recognised web browser was invented by Tim Berners-Lee, in 1989. He, and other industry pioneers established the consortium as a means to publicize the standard of web development and associated technologies used on the Internet. Had Berners-Lee and his associates not created this level of standardization, the World Wide Web would not have reached the global medium that we currently enjoy. If it was not for W3C, the ability to inter-operate between different machines, to carry information back and forth would not be possible.

The basic aim of the W3C, is to set necessary standards in order for computers to be able to speak the same language, so they are able to communicate across any web browser to identify web pages in the same way. Accordingly, the W3C puts their efforts into educating developers and designers, to encourage them to create their websites based on the consortium standards.

As an example of the progress and global reach set-out by the consortium, if someone in South Korea were to use a Macintosh or windows 8 computer, they are still able to access a website that is hosted with a Linux server in Australia. Assuming that website is built, and validated with the correct W3C guidelines, the website will have the same functionality regardless of what operating machine and web browser is being used.


What is the Significance For Using Standard Validated Code?

Even though any web browser can comprehend HTML, they all read it differently. In regards to CSS and HTML, individual browsers have proprietary extensions that it uses in order to produce special effects. The end result when using non compliant code is that, a web page may look terrific in Mozilla Fire Fox, but will look broken in other web browsers such as Safari and Internet Explorer. Even today, many web developers still build their code for Internet explorer, even though there is huge and increasing demands for other browser’s – many of which are used for PDAs, and hundreds of other electronic devices which are being built to be Internet compatible.


Why do Some Developers Avoid Validating Their Code?

This comes down to the fact that none of the popular HTML editors output 100% validated code. You can see why the popular HTML generator, Front Page, is very poor at generating validated code, given it’s a Microsoft product and accordingly writes code, based on Internet Explorer. Dreamweaver ranks as the best HTML generator in terms of outputting compliant code.

Even hand coding offers no real guarantee that your code will comply with the standards, unless the coder is fully versed with this standard. One problem is that, some of the attractive features are not typically supported by all web browsers. It’s common for many designers and web developers to ignore web surfers choice of web browser, so they implement their desired effects the way they choose. As an example, if the web developer chooses not to validate his code, a web page may look similar across various browsers, but things like fly-out menus may not all function the same between different browsers. A thoughtful web developer should add text links in addition to the main menu, so visitors can still access the same sections of the website.



As we see numbers of new web browsers increase, the implementation of standard code becomes increasingly vital. For further information, and to see of your website has significant validation errors, the organization provides a free validator tool here:

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