Applying Web Standards, Why You Should Care

Web standards. You may be wondering what this buzz is all about?

So Web Standards can simply be defined as a set of standards & practices established by W3C (the World Wide Web Consortium) to be used in creating and interpreting web-based content to ensure the web-based contents are accessible to as many audience with any web browsers as possible. This is just like setting standard for the universal web site.

By as many audience as possible means be they normal people, people with impairing vision, color blindness, partially or completely lacking in hearing, or elderly people, etc. all should be able to access the published information whenever possible.

By any browsers means any specific web browsers used to open the content, be it different web browser brands / engines (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari, etc) & versions (version 6.0, 7.0, etc.), be it PDAs, screen readers, or on kiosks. The keyword here is universally accessible.

Thus, applying web standards means a big, I mean big, difference to our websites.

Some immediate benefits we gain from applying web standards are:

Enhance websites search engine overall ranking
Nothing more delicious from search engines (which actually are and act like web spiders / crawlers) point of view than well written content, with clean, well structured, and semantic markup. Search engines will easily chew, digest and index your website contents. This will results in a much more content & structure comprehension by the search engines, which eventually end up in a higher search ranking.
Faster web pages loading
Well structured markup that separates structure & content from presentation is much more streamlined and slim than old table and spacer HTML. Loaded data on web pages thus sized smaller hence become faster for visitors to download, while from your side, the website spends lower bandwidth data, which leads to lower bandwidth cost.

Nothing more happier than knowing visitors get what they want (web pages) and they get them served on their web browsers quickly.

Lay a solid foundation for accessibility
Applying web standards will minimize the chance your website inaccessible to various different people with disabilities, or just using different web browsers, just using screen readers, just using slow dial up connection, and so on.
Lay a solid ground for usability
Having websites applying web standards will usually also make website easier and simpler to use. Here we lay a ground where we enhance the ease with which visitors can employ our website in order to get their particular goal coming to our website accomplished.
Future ready website
By separating content & structure (XHTML markups) from presentation (CSS) and apply web standards, we ensure that we have done all we could for the content to be ready for the future, as content in its plain simple & readable form, due to separation from its presentation information, become so intuitive and should be readable by any newer web browsers of the future. Be it any upcoming future web browsers, gadgets, cellular phones, PDAs, handheld devices, etc.
Make website simpler to maintain
How would you rather prefer wading through tens kilobytes of nested tables and spacer images or just browse through a streamlined, clean and well-structured document when you need to update web pages?

That’s only true for web developers who get used seeing naked code markups, you said. If you use an older Microsoft Front Page editor, you’ll get into trouble. It may be true, but, how would you get a consistent look easily, if you still need to scroll the pages to see if there’s an extra formatting applied unintentionally.

Editing, inserting, removing pure content without its presentation data is lot much easier and efficient than having to make sure all the presentational code right on every instance they exist. Using a separate CSS to control appearance makes it simple to make a site wide design changes.

We even can adapt the same web content for different purposes or devices easily.
For example to adapt the same web pages for print, to display on handheld devices, text only browsers, can be done by providing links to different CSS files.

So, after realizing all its benefits, who wouldn’t apply Web Standards? Please stand up..