I know many people think we are un-conformists living out here on the edge of Wales. We don’t think so, we think we are fairly normal, but whether we confrom or not at least I can say our weblog does.
So, what does it conform to and why is it important? Well, without getting too technical (I’ll save such things for the weblog on my website design site), the xHTML coding used to build the site conforms to the standards set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The act of checking a document against these standards is called validation and this site now validates. Why is it important? Well, there are lots of reason, some of them technical, some of them not so technical, but for me as a freelance website designer it is the attention to detail such as writing valid code that really makes the difference. In addition to the very good and usually stated reasons for writing conformable code such as universal hardware and software compatibility, accessibility, future proofing etc. I also tend to look at it as a mark of quality. It isn’t difficult to write valid code but designers that do so prove that they are willing to go that extra step, put in that extra bit of effort and produce a quality website. The w3c have a page answering the ‘why validate?’ question, so if my reasons aren’t good enough maybe theirs will be.
If by any chance you are interested in the subject then I can whole-heartedly recommend the following book which although it does contain some coding examples, is more about the whys and wherefores of building websites that conform to standards:
Designing with web standards by Jeffrey Zeldman
As a disclaimer, I am about to encourage Anna to start posting in this weblog and she has no website design knowledge (as yet), so there may be posts that don’t conform, but I will be teaching her as we go…. I’m sure she’ll look forward to that!