Does anyone bother conforming to W3C Standards?
The original reason for me starting this post was for me to justify to myself that this blog does not actually validate using the W3C Markup Validation Service even though I happen to have a Valid XHTML 1.0 logo in my right sidebar(which I will remove after this post). Now I am not out to deliberately deceive people by making them think this blog is valid when it is not, it is just because as I have made posts or added things to my sidebar the site has developed validation errors. At the time of writing the homepage has 20 errors, I expect it will have many more by the time I finish this post. So anyway I thought to myself how many other blogs actually advertise they are W3C Valid when they are not, so I began looking around a few of the sites I read and also some of the top Technorati Blogs. To my surprise not many people actually declare they are valid the only 2 I found before I gave up looking for the logo or Valid Refer Link (XHTML) were Matt Cutts Blog and the SEOmoz Blog. When I checked both the Blogs Matt Cuts had 20 errors and SEOmoz had 29, though it is worth noting that the SEOmoz homepage is actually valid. Yeay I thought I am not the only one with this problem and I think the problem is basically brought about by the fact that a lot of blogs actually start out as W3C Valid and as we make posts more and more errors get added, the only way to avoid it is to validate the Blog each time a post is made and then make the required changes which is just a nuisance.
In fact is it really the bloggers responsibility to validate their blog? I have been using Windows Live Writer for 2 weeks now, as I am sure you are aware it is a desktop application that allows easy WYSIWYG Authoring of posts so surely Live Writer should be responsible for turning the my post into Valid HTML/XHTML? After all I am sure not every blogger out there is that proficient at HTML or even knows what W3C is, so why would they check for validation?
I suppose the question people may ask me (and I ask myself sometimes) is why should I care about that stupid W3C validation anyway? Well:
W3C was created to ensure compatibility and agreement among industry members in the adoption of new standards. Prior to its creation, incompatible versions of HTML were offered by different vendors, increasing the potential for inconsistency between web pages.
In fact there are some arguments that not conforming to the Web Accessibility Guidelines (Not the same as W3C Valid Markup) is actually against the law.
- The UK 1995 Disability Discrimination Act – how does your website measure up?
- Disabled access to web sites under UK law
So anyway this all got me thinking a little more, how many other websites out there do not have W3C Valid Markup. So I decided to ignore my morning list of tasks and have a look around at what sites failed or passed the W3C Markup Validation. I am going to post the results in the next post as this one is lengthy enough as it is.
Please also note, as far as I am aware all the following data is correct, I used the validator.w3.org tool to check all the sites and I have only copied the results from there. Also while I have checked some accessibility sites etc just because they don’t validate does not mean they are not accessible several sites on the list have text alternative websites etc. I am not a usability expert but I assume a text alternative is not the ideal solution to accessibility though. Actually the Web Accessibility Guidelines Checklist actually states
If, after best efforts, you cannot create an accessible page, provide a link to an alternative page that uses W3C technologies, is accessible, has equivalent information (or functionality), and is updated as often as the inaccessible (original) page.