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Why Build Your Site to Web Standards

by :: 01 April

Building a proper website is more than just getting a few pictures to show up and making sure your links work. The underlying framework that gives the visitor a consistent and fulfilling experience is more important now than ever. Today, visitors to your site are coming to it using many different browsers and hardware devices. To capture their interest - and earn their business - you have to be prepared.

At Impress Design, LLC we only build sites using web standards compliant code. This means XHTML and style sheets (CSS). There are several reasons for this, including: readability, accessibility, and speed.

It Ain't Just for Desktops, Baby

No longer can you count on visitors to your site browsing from their desktop using Internet Explorer. Today's internet user is just as likely to be on a laptop computer, or a telephone or other handheld device. And they're likely to be using browsers like Firefox, Safari or Opera. Designing for all of these options and scenarios requires you to begin with web standards. All browsers aspire to meet the standards put forth by w3c.org. Some do it better than others. But all attempt to follow as best they can. The bottom line for you - the business owner - is this: designing to web standards allows your site to be viewed consistently across all browsers and devices. In other words, you are open for business to everyone.

One Nation Accessible to All

It may not matter today that your site is accessible to people with visual handicaps. But it will. Target Corp. is in the middle of a lawsuit because their site cannot be accessed by the blind. You can bet that regulations will be in place in the future requiring all sites be up to these standards. Not only because it is the right thing to do, but because it is relatively simple. Sites built to web standards can be accessed by anyone and just about any device. In the end, isn't that what you want?

Feel the Need for Speed?

Building your site to web standards also means that you get the added benefit of going faster. When content is separated from style browsers work less and move faster. What this means to the customer is "a better user experience." What it means to you is lower bandwidth (less money). Consider this, when ESPN changed its front page to a tableless design they saved 2 terabytes of data transfer a day! So, your site will load faster, use fewer resources and make people happy. Wow!

There are other benefits to web standard designs. Two benefits, in particular, that mean lower future costs. The first is that your site is easy to update (content) because content and style are separated. The second is even better. It is possible to completely redesign the look and feel of your site without touching the content.

So, the real question isn't "Why build your site to web standards?" What should be asked is "Why wouldn't you build your site to web standards?"


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