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Is having your Website's html w3c validated worth it?
Updated February 2, 2013: This question has been popping quite a few times over the years and xod Media thought it was a good idea to answer it.
First we'll want to know who the W3C is, what is validation and what the expected outcome is.
The W3C is short for the World Wide Web Consortium. This organization was created by the inventor of the internet: Tim Berners-Lee.
As an organization, they essentially look at the world's internet usage an document
- how people use the internet.
- what devices are they using
- what kind of speeds does their internet get
The W3C esentially does this to ensure the future of the web will be accommodating to the growing diversity of people, hardware, and software.
The W3C offers a validator at http://validator.w3.org/ where you can enter in your web pages, upload your web page, or enter the source code directly.
The validator will show you site errors and warnings and give you a detailed description of the error. This still doesn't answer why you should validate. In short, this is like spell check for your code. It checks the spelling, grammer and syntax.
While the front end might look great to you, it won't look the same in another browser.
Browsers have error correction built in, but what one browser corrects in one way, another browser will correct / or not, in another way. What you see is not what others get (WYSINWOG).
Firefox and Internet Explorer might look great on your PC, but take a look at your page on an Apple / Unix machine and it's a while different ballgame.
By making sure your pages pass this validation, you pass the first step to having good programming, which satisfies the first step of getting your webiste ranked on the search engines