>Web Standards and Why You Should Use Them

>Web Standards…Just what exactly does that mean?
 
It is generally thought of as guidelines and specifications to follow when developing for the World Wide Web.  These guidelines are issued by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and will help to create websites which will be consistently available on most any browser or internet-enabled device.  Web standards help to improve the maintainability of a site and the overall development process as a whole.


So why doesn’t everybody follow web standards?

 
The obvious answer is that some people simply aren’t aware of web standards.  There is no qualification criterion that must be met before someone can create a web site.  Unfortunately, because of that fact, there are a lot of bad web sites created by people who just don’t know any better. 


However, from my personal experience, I have found that some people are aware of web standards but just don’t care to take the time to learn about them and implement them.  And I’m not talking strictly about personal web sites; I’m talking about large web sites that are created to be the face of an organization.  Getting this particular group to see the importance of web standards is a tall order to fill. 


Well if they don’t do it, why should I?

 
Because you are better than them.  Plain and simple, a good developer will use web standards and will encourage others to do the same.  I’m not saying that a site can’t be created without web standards, but if you want a site that will be accessible, web standards have to have their place.  Even if your are 100% standards compliant there will still be some minor differences between browsers and devices but your site will be accessible in the largest number of browsers and devices possible.  Unless your goal is to annoy users and drive traffic to competitors, you want your site to work in a variety of environments and web standards will help to get you there.


Still not convinced?

 
Check out these resources for some compelling reasons to use web standards:
http://www.webstandards.org/
http://www.w3.org/standards/about.html
http://webstandardsgroup.org/standards/

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