Why do you need to validate your HTML Code?

Supporters of HTML and CSS validation say there is a number of reasons why you should be validating your code.

1. Validation of the code helps to create a cross-browser, cross-platform and future compatible website. You may manage to create a web page that would work on your favourite browsers, and yet, you can have dozens of HTML (or CSS) errors that won’t show up in the browser due to an existing bug. As a result, another user who’s using a different web browser and is not sharing the same bug, will end up with the a distorted view of the screen. Another variation is that later versions of your browser can automatically fix the bug, and eventually the page will be broken when people use the latest updated browser release. That’s why coding is important. A page without errors will work equally well across all major browsers and platforms. Besides, it’s a kind of insurance that your website will function smoothly on all future versions of browsers.

2. Visibility in search engines. If web pages contain errors, as a rule browsers try to compensate. Some browsers ignore the broken elements of the site whilst others make assumptions about original ideas of the designer and what he or she was trying to achieve. The problem is that when search engines access your web page and parse it for keywords, they also have to decide what to do with the existing errors. Thus, you need to make sure that your web page validates errors-free.

3. Professionalism. You need to understand that errors in your website reflect your poor experience and skills as a web developer. That’s why you should spend quality time to test the site in all major browsers and check out whether it works equally well in all of them.

Why you shouldn’t validate the site

People who are against validation often refer to the following reasons:

1. Validation doesn’t give you any guarantees that the page will work. Even after validation, you still need to test your site in all big popular browsers. Having a clear and errors-free code also doesn’t guarantee that the HTML or CSS code will do exactly what you want.

2. Ideally, you want all your webpages to be error-free and usable. However, as it often occurs, many web designers who create thousands of web pages have no time at all to convert them so that they validate correctly. Because these pages are already doing well on the web, they tend to spend more time on doing work that’s actually productive.

3. Usually, your website visitors don’t check your source code. The only true test for the average visitor is the way your website appears in his or her browser.


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