Today, I want to share with you some of the great things about having a standards compliant website and why you too should start using it.
Search engine friendly, increased traffic
This is one very important reason to practice web standards. Search engines such as Google are blind user. It doesn’t care about the design. It cannot tell if it’s a heading just because you set the page heading to font size of 20px to make it larger.
In a standards compliant website, the design is separated from content. The HTML holds the contents while visual presentation is controlled by CSS. The HTML uses a semantic code. A semantically structured website uses the right tag to describe the contents within it. So if something is a heading, instead of using font size=20px, wrap it with heading tags such as H1, H2, H3 and so on. e.g., <h2>The Benefits of Web Standards</h2>
By describing your contents properly, the more Google will understand what your site is all about and improve your ranking which will lead to an increased traffic.
Less bandwidth, loads faster
By removing the visual presentation markup from HTML and moving it to CSS, means that your HTML page size is smaller and thus it loads faster. We should keep in mind that there are still lots of dial-up users out there. And we can’t just ignore them. Slow loading sites are so boring and annoying. The tendency is your visitors will leave your website and you lose a business.
Reduce cost of maintenance
CSS makes it so much easier for us web designers and clients to maintain a site. By using semantic markup, we can change the entire site just by altering one css file instead of editing every single page. Say, you want to move the left navigation to the right of the page. If you have 50 pages table-based website, you have to edit them one by one!! But with CSS, you can just edit the positioning values and you’re done!
Editing on the client side is also very very easy that you might not need a content management system anymore. It’s very unlikely that you will screw up the design. If you’re a client and you want to edit or update your site, you don’t have to make decisions if content should be this color or this size or whatever. You just have to describe what the content is, if it’s a heading, a paragraph, a list or whatever. Once you described this, CSS takes care of giving the style to that piece of content. This is definitely a money-saver for the client.
Works in all browsers
Because of its backward compatibility, css based layout will work properly on all browsers, even the older ones. Although it doesn’t mean that it will look exactly the same on different browser, you’ll still be able to navigate around it. It also works with other browsing devices such mobile phones and PDAs. Having this will maximize your potential visitors.
While standard compliant web does not guarantee accessibility, it is a very good start. It makes accessibility an easier goal to achieve. Accessibility means being able to serve web content to a larger audience including disabled people.
Web standard is something that brings only a host of benefits!
These standards will surely work best with various web hosting companies‘ packages.