How to Test Web Standards

Web Standards Validation or Testing is a critical component in web development process. It ensures that a website adheres and is compliant to the defined web standards by the World Wide Web Consortium also known as W3C.

These standards are composed of the recommendations for CSS or Cascading Style Sheets, HTML, HTML5 as well as other aspects of web technology. Web standards also ensure that the developer is using up-to-date web development techniques, the website will perform better in search results, the website will load quickly, and the website will display exactly the same regardless of what browser is used.

A few quick steps to test a websites compliance to web standards can be done by performing the following below. These are quick and easy steps that can be performed with the use of 3rd party specialized web standards validation tools. These are fundamental steps to ensure the website is web standards compliant.

  • Use W3C’s free validation and testing services for web pages
  • Test the XHTML via http://validator.w3.org for multiple pages. Type in the complete URL of the website into the validator field. It may take a few seconds to return the analysis.
  • Validate CSS or Cascading Style Sheets via http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/validator-uri.html. Testing CSS is a bit more complex. Discovering and locating the location of the associated CSS file is required. This can be performed using Internet Explorer by clicking on View and then clicking on Source. Similar steps may be performed with other browsers. The source code will show up in a Notepad window. A search is required to exactly locate the CSS code. This can be done by performing a Find in the Notepad and typing “text/css” in the field.
  • Check for first or second line of the code if it shows a “Doctype” that looks like this:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN”

http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd>

  • Run through the code and check if any of these codes are being used. In an up-to-date webpage, these codes should no longer be included. To do this, perform a search for the tag, excluding the last right angle bracket or “>”. The reason for that is because there might be a lot of codes before that closing bracket.
    • <table>
    • <center>
    • <font>
    • <i>
    • <b>
    • <frame> and <frameset>
    • gif
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