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Web Standards Switch or how to improve your Web site easily

February 15th, 2010 by John Britsios in Web Standards

Let’s start with what you do already know: web standards are important and making sure that your website complies with these standards can do wonders for your site and your business.

Now, let’s cover what you don’t know: how to implement these standards to bring your site into compliance. It’s not as complex as it may seem and you can take care of many of the essential steps to making your site comply with web standards one at a time.

The first step is to analyze how closely your site currently adheres to these standards: you’ll need to assess the validity of your CSS, your markup, whether your content is well written (as in grammatically correct and free of spelling errors), what headers are returned by your web server, whether your site is properly internationalized, your meta tags and perhaps most importantly of all, the accessibility of your site.

Why should you care about web standards? The answer is quite simple, really: a site which does not meet these standards is more difficult for search engine crawlers to properly navigate and index – and harder for visitors to use.

The easiest way to proceed is to look over your content for spelling and other errors, followed by validating your HTML/XHTML and CSS; bringing your code into line with web standards can involve a bit of work, so it may be best to break this job down into manageable pieces by working on this a little every day until your code is fully valid.

You’ll also want to look closely at your site’s meta tags, implementing descriptive alt tags for images, videos and other content which may not be rendered by alternative browsers (and to make these elements more search engine friendly as well).

One thing to remember here is that a site which meets web standards is inherently more attractive to search engines and better still, to visitors.

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