HTML Validators: The Key to Success

Invalid Code

First and foremost, unvalidated code will most likely not look correct on the page. Tags may be misread, or other browser errors may occur in which the user will not receive the information on the web page as intended. By validating your code, you can be sure that the user is seeing exactly what you want them to see. If you have ever had links or buttons that didn’t work or tables that loaded improperly, you have been the victim of invalid code.

Browsers

Everybody has heard jokes about Microsoft’s Internet Explorer(IE), but how will your website react to a user loading it on Safari, the browser made by Apple? There are more browsers available now than ever, and each has its own rules and ways of interpreting web pages. HTML validation ensures that your website will be viewed as intended by the user, regardless of the browsing platform from which they choose to view it. With at least seven major browser platforms and countless other minor platforms, having validated code ensures that you have the widest net to access the most extensive user base. Failure to validate may leave your users frustrated and pointed elsewhere for their business needs.

Website Ranking & Best Practices

One of the most critical ways HTML validation will help you is through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is the make or break for many websites and companies on the internet. Every search platform, such as Google or Duck Duck go, uses “Web Crawlers” to assess websites. This “Web Crawler” will traverse any publicly accessible site and measure the HTML content. It has internal ranking metrics that it applies to sites regarding their relevance to specific search terms. If the HTML on your page is invalid, the web crawler may rank your site lower. If the HTML contains an error, it may remove your website from its indices entirely! The best way to stay on top of the search game is by making sure every addition to the website is validated.

Speed

Have you ever had a slow webpage? A website where half of it loaded instantly, but you had to load the other half for over a minute? Slow web pages can be the result of errors due to invalid HTML. Dynamic pages, content, and scripts can create formatting errors that increase load times.

Complying

In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act(ADA) was passed. The ADA requires that all businesses make reasonable accommodations to allow disabled people to access their businesses. You can see a nationwide change due to this law, with wheelchair access ramps on the outside of every public-facing business. Some users of websites are disabled. They must use a screen reader to view web pages to access the internet and its information. A webpage that is not validated will likely not be viewable by the screen reader. As a result, you may be infringing against disabled persons. To comply with disability laws and prevent lawsuits, validation must be used to ensure accessibility.

Responsiveness

Currently, web development focuses on three main viewing modes, Desktop, Mobile, and Tablet. Designing a website that handles all three viewing modes can only be done with validated HTML to prevent errors and delays. Having a website accessible by users on any of their preferred devices is only possible through HTML validation. Trying to design a website that only services desktop viewing would reject over 50% of web traffic — a sure recipe for failure.

Scalability on new devices

Validation will also help us when new devices are implemented that require different viewing specifications. In May 2014, Google attempted to market the “Google Glass”. Although it failed to take off at the time, the idea is still going strong. Had Google glass taken off in 2014. With all of the validation and errors that it entails. Going forward, with whatever technology the pioneers of time throw at us, it will be easier to manage with validation.

Maintenance & Website Design

Another aspect of validation that is often overlooked is its effect on maintenance and new development. Validated web pages are almost always easy to edit and can be changed or duplicated to make future web pages easier to create. Starting with a nice neat codebase makes long-term work much easier. Like a blueprint, it can be reworked once something has been validated.

Takeaway

Validation has improved the internet for the better. It improves browsing user experiences; it reduces load times. It helps users find better results through SEO. Users experience better, more dynamic web pages because they have been validated in their creation. Web users can experience the web with whatever platform seamlessly or device they choose. It has integrated disabled persons into our society more than any previous technology. Validation improves our lives because it improves the internet so vastly.

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Visualwebz

Visualwebz

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A Seattle web design and online marketing agency that delivers high-end websites. A passion for web development and SEO.