Why is it important to have a standard code?

We've got more requests to tell you why is it important to observe the rules of the W3C standard!

The answer is kind of complicated, but we should definitely talk about it!

Code history

If you are bored by these things skip this part, but it contains some interesting information.

W3C keeps a recording of the rules related to the HTML code. It is really good that this organisation provides us a validation tool as well. But what is W3C checking and how many standards are available?

First we should clear the programming language of the specific code.

If we talk about webpages everyone thinks about HTML. It's not a simple standard however, there are more versions.

I would like to start with HTML 3.2, it was issued in 1997.

The HTML 4.01 was issued in 1999: this is the most commonly used standard right now around the world. It supports more multimedia plugins, scripts and stylesheets.

Our favourite is HTML5. There is a little problem however. It does not exist yet!

We can use two things only: recommendations of the "Working Group Note" and there is a version called Working Draft.

The story is simple: W3C is a consortium with different services; but it does not include the development, they only provide suggestions and analysis. Larger companies (Google, Microsoft) are using their own standards and if these are starting to spread others have to accomodate.

Long story short, standards are defined by larger companies!

I hope that some of my collegaues are starting to think about the HTML+RDFa and the others but it's the icing on the cake! ;)

Second round: character encoding

Of course this counts as well!

Older Windows systems are using different character encoding than modern systems like Android.

The main point is that the W3C validator and Googlebot works only if you specify the encoding and the language in the code!

Why is it important to observe the HTML4 standards?

Just as I said before, the larger companies are forming the standards: if you check google.com right now the validator give you 28 errors!

But of course Google does not crawl its own page! If we want a create a content that is easily readable for the bots we have to make it as metabolizable as possible!

Ask yourself the question: what would you do with a text that is not understandable because it is missing some special characters, spaces or every second word is chinese? Plus there are more of this text you have to read! Would you read it?

None of the examples are perfect but program codes are not almighty. They can't interpret every single problems; even if they try, the analysis will probably stop to protect the system from overload and to protect you from incorrect results.


I advise to keep and follow the standards!

László Éles

webpage technical expert

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