1. W3C STANDARDS FOR BUSINESS
If you were building a retail store in a shopping mall, chances are you would not make its entrance only wide enough for 85% of people in the mall to get through. You would probably make it so wide, in fact, that two or three people could walk through at one time. So why should it be any different on the web?
Star Global believes it shouldn’t. Therefore, we build accessible web sites with web pages all can see and view, including those with disabilities and alternative viewing platforms.
To achieve maximum web accessibility, Star Global builds websites using CSS and Strict Standards HTML, which is compliant with modern web standards, set by the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) in collaboration with other bodies.
Ask your web developer if your website was created in W3C strict standards compliant HTML code. If the answer is no - or if it was done in transitional code - you could be looking at re-doing your website in the next coming years.
There are more than five major web browser rendering engines, on three major platforms. Standards are the only way to reduce bugs and ensure consistency for your visitors.
2. WHAT DO W3C STRICT STANDARDS MEAN TO YOUR BUSINESS?
W3C Strict standards give a better return on investment for each development dollar.
3. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
By adhering to modern web standards, you offer more ways for people to view your website. The technology will last. You can combine technologies more easily, and upgrade to new technologies when you comply with standards. This not only conveys professionalism, it raises your opportunities for profitability and repeat visitors.
Web sites built with modern web standards come with other benefits too. In particular, sites built ‘to standards’ use CSS (cascading style sheets) for website design, and Strict Standards HTML to mark-up page content. This enables form and function to remain separate.
A site built with CSS/HTML enables your web pages to be interpreted by many different types of viewing devices. These include: modern web browsers, screen readers, PDA’s, printers, text-only browsers, and cell phones.
4. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
A well marked up, semantically correct, Strict Standards HTML web page has the added benefit that search engines will have an easier time indexing it. Because the content on the page is properly laid out, search engines will be able to accurately judge its relevancy to its associated keywords. The result: better search engine rankings.
Another benefit to the separation of form and function, or more precisely, design and presentation, means that the design of your site can change without the need to go back and alter (or refashion) the content as well. This will save you time and money should you ever decide to re-brand your website and give it a fresh look.
6. IS W3C STRICT COMPLIANT CODE MANDATORY FOR MY WEB SITE TO WORK?
Invalid code is a dead end road for development. Browsers of the future will behave differently with invalid code, and may stop supporting it. Requiring W3C strict standards in your project, protects your investment for the future.
7. TEST YOUR WEB SITE
Test your website for standards compliance using the W3C validation service: Web site : http://validator.w3.org
8. SHOULD MY COMPANY INSIST ON THE USE OF W3C STANDARDS?
Today, organizations are being coached on how to include standards compliance into their tendering documents, or when considering their current supplier, so they are ensured to receive all the benefits standards provide.
9. ABOUT STAR GLOBAL
Star Global is an expert in conforming to industry standards established for website compatibility and accessibility, including:
HTML 4.01 Strict / XHTML 1.0 Strict
Level 2 WAI accessibility requirements
W3C Standards compliant code
10. TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
W3C Standards: Created by the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium). The standards are a consensus of experts from more than 500 companies and organizations.
HTML: ‘Hypertext Markup Language’. It is a scripting language that is commonly used to format Web Pages for use on the World Wide Web.
Strict Standards: Strict standards separate structure from presentation. Its modularity and specification make it more stable for future technology advancements.
Transitional Standards: Transitional standards include deprecated elements - elements that will be obsolete in the future. Transitional works now, but its potential is limited.
BACKGROUND ON W3C STANDARDS CODE
Circa 1996 HTML 3.2 - also backwards compatible to HTML 2.0 (c. 1994)
December 18, 1997 HTML 4.0 April 24, 1999 HTML 4.0 second release
December 24, 1999 HTML 4.01 - the newest standard and last in the HTML series
January 26, 2000 XHTML 1.0 - based on XML, XHTML is the standard for common use on the horizon