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standards based web design and development

Silver Garden Web Studio > Web Standards FAQ

What are Web Standards about?

These 'Web Standards' are designed to:

  • deliver the greatest benefits to the greatest number of web users
  • ensure the long-term viability of any web document
  • simplify code and lower the cost of production
  • deliver sites that are accessible to more people and more types of Internet devices
  • continue to function correctly as browsers evolve, and as new devices come to market

For web designers and developers, Web Standards are about using standards (Structural, presentational, Object and Scripting languages) and best practices (valid, semantic and accessible code) to benefit your users, your clients and yourself.

How do your VISITORS benefit from Web Standards?

  • Files will download faster (less code, no overall tables, valid code)
  • Content is accessible to wider range of users (normal users, blind users, vision impaired users, dislexic users, motor skill impaired users etc)
  • Content is accessible to wider range of devices (screen readers, browsers, text based browsers, hand helds, search robots, printers, fridges etc)
  • Allows users to customize site appearance (style switchers)
  • Provides print friendly versions for all pages

How do your CLIENTS benefit from Web Standards?

  • Easier to maintain (less code, modular code)
  • Cheaper hosting costs (less code)
  • Better search engine ranking
  • Content can be restyled easily without changing code
  • Provides users with customization
  • Provides print versions without replicating content
  • Improves accessibility (essential for Government clients)

What are the differences between Traditional website and "Web Standards" website?

Traditional website

Traditional website development is an extension of the printed media - designed to make sites look pixel-perfect in the 5-6 main browsers. Common characteristics include:

  • Table-based layouts
  • Presentation within the content (font tags)
  • Invalid code
  • Inaccessible code
  • Semantically incorrect code

"Web Standards" website

Web Standards are about accepting the web as a broad communication tool that can be accessed by a wide variety of users and a variety of devices. Common characteristics include:

  • Semantically correct markup
  • Valid code
  • Accessible code (for humans and devices)
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to separate content from presentation

Why use valid code?

Validation is a process of checking your documents against a formal standard, like those published by the W3C. A document that has been checked and passed is considered valid.

  • Valid code will render faster than code with errors
  • Valid code will render better than invalid code
  • Browsers are becoming more standards compliant, and it is becoming increasingly necessary to write valid and standards compliant HTML

Why use accessible code?

  • Allows your site to be accessible to a larger audience (vision impaired, motor skill impaired, cognitive impaired)
  • Allows your site to be accessed by wider range of devices (hand helds, screen readers, text browsers, search engines)
  • Is a requirement for Federal and State Government sites

What is forward compatibility?

Designed and built the right way , any document that is published on the web can work across multiple browsers, platforms, and Internet devices-and will continue to work as new browsers and devices are invented.