W3C validation may seem like something only done by real sticklers for web standards, but it really is a practice that should be adopted by all web developers. The benefits of validation simply can’t be denied and can make things so much easier for both web developers and web visitors.
Validation Helps Web Developers Squash Bugs
It is inevitable that bugs will occur when designing. Without validation the web developer may catch some bugs, but others will undoubtedly go undiscovered. A developer who submits their site for W3C validation, however, will find that those bugs become obvious. This process will greatly decrease potential errors while increasing the chances that their site will perform consistently across platforms and user-agents.
W3C Validated Sites Speak of Professionalism
The average visitor doesn’t care what the markup of a web site looks like just so long as the site looks nice and is easy to use. To them, that is really all that matters. There is, however, a small portion of the web community that does take the time to look at the code behind the site.
These people may be fellow web developers or potential employers. Either way, a web developer will make a much better impression on these individuals if the developer’s code reflects the fact that they are committed to publishing web sites of only the highest standard.
W3C Validation for the Future
Just because a web site performs in current browsers doesn’t mean that it will continue to function properly 1, 2, or 3 years in the future. While W3C validation does not guarantee that a site will be future-proof it does increase the chances of the site performing properly for years to come.
W3C validation is the best way to check if a web site adheres to web standards and offers the greatest odds that future web browsers will handle it as designed. Those tired of their sites breaking with every new browser release should just do themselves a favor and make the commitment to publish only validated web sites.
Adhering to Web Standards Enforces Good Habits
Failure to adhere to web standards will reinforce bad habits and make them that much more difficult to break. It is for that reason that web developers should stop the vicious cycle and make it a practice to write code that can pass through W3C validation. Doing so will make them more disciplined and better at what they do.
Getting Serious About Web Standards
Those serious about web development need to make W3C validation a part of their design process. In making this commitment to quality these web developers will also make the transition from casual designer to seasoned professional.