Validated! the web standards fanlisting


Web standards are guidelines for website code that make websites easier to access, to produce and to update. Web standards are agreed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), together with other interested parties. Web standards apply not just to those who design websites, but to the people who design internet browsers.

The point of web standards is to ensure that any user, using any browser, on any device, now or in the future, can access your website.

If your website is published to current web standards, it should still be accessible in the future, as new browsers are developed and as new internet devices are invented.

Web standards also have side benefits. Such as that standards compliant sites load faster and are easier to maintain.

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Step 1: Use a doctype

Most browsers look for a doctype at the beginning of each page. A doctype is a formal statement of what kind of html the page is written in. For example, if you click View, Source (View, Page Source in some browsers) and look at the first line of the resulting code, you will see this file's doctype.

If there's no doctype, or the doctype is wrong, the browser may not display the page the way you want, or may not be able to display it at all!

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Step 2: Validate your code

Validators compare your code with the international web standards, and point out any glitches in the syntax. It's a process similar to having your writing proof-read by an editor. Validators can't fix your errors for you, but they can point you in the direction of more information. Fixing the errors and resubmitting the code will eventually get you a perfectly valid page, although it can take a few tries.

Some good, easy-to-use validators that I have used are: or for html, and for CSS.

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Step 3: Move presentation tags into CSS

The ultimate aim for a website is to separate presentation (colours, fonts, layout, positioning) from content. This is achieved using CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).

Using CSS for layout instead of tables or the dreaded frames makes your pages load faster. Plus they make changing the look of your website so much easier, because you only have to upload one stylesheet to change the whole site.

For a great example of how this works, go to Zen Garden and click on one of the links to the many stylesheets offered there. The whole design of the website will instantly change. It's groovy. :)

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It's useful to use a text editor like Notepad ++. If you open all your site's pages in that editor, which you can easily do by selecting them all, then right clicking and choosing Edit with Notepad ++, then you can search and replace characters either just in one document or in all opened files. This can save a lot of faffing about.

Where to learn more?

Pretty much all the above information above is pulled from The Web Standards Group. The following websites are also great resources if you want to learn more about web standards: World Wide Web Consortium, The Web Standards Project, Max Design's Web Standards Checklist, and the Viewable With Any Browser campaign.

The reknowned A List Apart web design site has an example of reworking an existing site with web standards, which is interesting.

About fanlistings

A fanlisting is a web clique that lists fans of a particular subject. Some fanlistings are simple listings but others are part of a much bigger site. There are more than 50,000 fanlistings in existence and more are being built all the time. For more information on the whole fanlisting phenomenon, visit the Fanlistings Network.

About the site

This fanlisting was opened by Birgit, who kindly allowed me to adopt it in February 2006. She also designed the layout graphic at the top of each page, and the codes. All of those are © Birgit 2005, and I am using them with her permission.

My name is Tehomet. All other original content is © Tehomet 2006. All rights reserved. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to drop me a line. To see what other projects I am interested in, go to my domain. Thank you for visiting.


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