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Easy way to make your website render same across browsers

March 16th, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

Even if it is not yet proved beyond doubt that W3C validation grabs better search engine rankings, it is sure that errors in your code will surely cause problems. Converting website pages to XHTML will help to reach more customers, as the site will work in more browsers and even non-traditional devices.

W3C, the World Wide Web Consortium, provides guidelines based on best practice, towards how websites and web pages should be authored in a structured manner to ensure long–term compatibility. The W3C validation is a standard for specified machine language, checking web documents, code grammar, syntax etc.

XHTML is the latest standard for hybrid markup language designed for web documents. It is a combination of classic HTML extended with XML. Validation can be defined as the process of checking documents against this specified structure. Converting your HTML web pages to XHTML takes time, though there are scripts which does this. This is sure to help the website in the future. Though the simplest method of creating XHTML web document is to start a new project, converting old pages cannot be left out completely.

The rules put forth by W3C are not compulsory as they don’t have a certification program, but there are many good reasons for making a website into compliance.

Main advantages that derive from W3C compliance:

  • Your website will be more easily accessed by people with disabilities and the user experience will be improved.
  • W3C validation helps you reduce the amount of coding on your pages thus emphasizing the importance of content. Your site will have the chance to get indexed and as a result get higher rankings in the most important search engines, since spiders are known to crawl websites with relevant content;
  • Your website can be easily accessed from different devices – PCs, laptops, PDAs, cellular phones, etc.;
  • Validation is fully compatible with a wide range of dynamic pages, scripting and active content, multimedia presentations, etc.;
  • Different current and future browsers will display pages in the same way, or at least in a very similar fashion.

Search engines, like any other software, will output only garbage, when fed with garbage. The point I am trying to emphasize is that, a non standard html code, may render the way it is meant in non or over standard browsers but become complete failure when a search engine spider parses it. If they find invalid HTML or XHTML code – meaning code that is not following the official rules, you might be removed from indexes. If there is an error on your web page code, spiders will stop searching your whole website, and this could very well be the end of your optimization efforts.

Not all errors are so severe as to cause problems with search engines rankings. Take the time to run your web pages through a validating tool, after you’ve made all the necessary modifications. This will give you good results very soon.

There is a active debate whether valid HTML or XHTML will take your website to the top of the most important search engines. There are still many big names on the web, with good rankings, which haven’t validated their websites. But be prepared for the future and include W3C validation in your SEO techniques. Though the impact of valid HTML or XHTML is still of low importance compared to other SEO factors, when it comes to improving your visibility on the internet, no method should be neglected.

Fortunately there are free services that allow you to check your documents for compliance with web standards. The W3C’s free online Validation Service is used by many professionals to ensure their sites comply with web standards.

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