W3C Validation – Is it Worthwhile?

w3c services validatedWhat is W3C Validation?

It stands for World Wide Web Consortium (see the connection?  3 W’s, for W3. smart eh?) and basically is an effort to standardise the way pages on the internet are created to make them universally accessible for as many people as possible.

It tries to ensure that pages don’t take forever to load, use the CSS and XHTML language and this in turns allows browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome to display them all in the same way with fewer problems or errors.

At least that’s the aim.

Many agree that having this validation “certificate” allows search engines to read your site in a much more efficient manner thus the site is more friendly.

It is NOT essential to have on your site but should be remembered.  As the sites are now so dynamic, simple changes can cause errors that, should you wish to maintain this validation, must be fixed and a lot of energy can be wasted on maintaining its integrity.

Until it becomes an absolute necessity the best thing is to try and maintain it but not become unhinged if it is not applicable. Otherwise it just might drive you insane.  One thing I have terrible headaches with is apply a new plugin to my blog and it might just cause a W3C validation error.  Its impossible to tell until you try it.

There is a handy little plugin which allows you to check your W3C Validation on WordPress called “Validation” surprisingly enough. This plugin adds the error list to the admin of your blog allowing you to drill down to specific errors and correct them.

Millions of errors what do I do!?

Don’t be surprised the first time you run it if you get what seems like millions of errors.  This isn’t actually the case so don’t panic!  The errors are usually held within the template files of your site so by fixing one set of errors it will fix all the errors site wide reducing the total number rather quickly.  It all boils down to the amount of time and effort you have in making it happen.

Hint… Spend the time, make it happen!

How to check W3C validation online.

Checking your sites validation couldn’t be easier.  There are two main files that most people will ensure are validated. These are the XHTML files and the CSS files.

To check how valid your sites XHTML is go to:

and to validate your CSS check out:

On the W3c homepage there is a range of other checking tools to review, all available at http://www.w3.org/QA/Tools/

For some further reading on the ins and outs of W3C Validation and the effect and benefits it can have check out Web Pro News.