Web Standards ... why you should care  by Deborah Tirico

As in most forms of advertising, web page development has no licensing, no authority to check that development is correct or even well done.

Today’s developers range from the do-it-your-selfers to firms with little experience or mega experience and the prices for web development are just as varied. The idea of web standards is not always understood or complied with.

Let’s take a look at what the term “web standards? actually means. The web, like any mass medium, is enabled through a shared infrastructure. Just as television has broadcast standards: PAL, NTSC, SECAM, etc, and radio has AM and FM bands, web-based communication is enabled through a combination of connection and content specifications.

Web specifications are formalized and extended
by the World Wide Web W3CConsortium (W3C). The
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community that develops standards to ensure the long-term growth of the Web. Current membership exceed 300 and includes software and browser companies, government entities, trade associations and businesses among others.

For fully functional web pages both the behavior and the presentation should be talking back and forth with the structure using current web standards.

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Browser images

For the webpage author, a web standards approach includes the separation of content, presentation and behavior. Content refers to the data such as the actual words and meanings in the site. Presentation is how the content is displayed, in what form and where on the page it will be. Behavior is how the content moves, how it is interacted with by the user, functionality and so forth.
These are the three important components of web code.

As a business owner, you should care that your web pages are displayed correctly across all browsers. There are many active browsers including Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari, Firefox and Chrome among others and consistency is critical to presentation. If a developer follows web standards, the client can be assured that their web site pages will be displayed correctly no matter what browser is being used.

Currently HTML5 (controls the structure), CCS3 (controls the presentation) and Big ThreeJavascript (controls the behavior) are the
current standards – although unofficial. Most of the big boys, like Microsoft and Google are already actively using these standards and, the soon to be released Windows 8
(OMG … are you keeping up?) will also be using these standards.

These standards also make it a lot easier to display web content on touchpads and smartphones. The important questions for all who are responsible for web sites:

• Was our site developed using current web standards?
• Is our site so old that the web standards are out of date?
• Who can I ask about the web standards currently being used on my site?

If you would like your site evaluated, we are happy to provide a web check up. Call us and we will provide an estimate for the “Web Standards Check Up?, depending on the size of your site.