HTML has long been recognized as a tool for website design. Validation of HTML code however, is often overlooked in the benefits it provides designers. It is possible to code with HTML and have websites that work properly, at least initially. However, all coding languages have set rules for vocabulary, grammar and proper syntax. Browser problems may arise in time as the browser installs new updates to keep up with online advances. Designers who do not take the time to validate an HTML website may find that their website will work well initially, but develop problems later simply due to the design code not being 100% correct. Even small errors can create these issues.
The following are 5 reasons to consider for validating HTML:
1. Compliance with Current Browsers – Validating HTML code help ensure that errors in the code are corrected to display correctly with browser updates.
2. Search Engine Indexing – Search engines send out spiders that index and catalogue your web pages. Errors in the code prevent spiders from properly indexing your website, which results in lower rankings. Validating your HTML code will help ensure that your website is read and indexed correctly.
3. An Air of Professionalism – Properly validating your HTML code will help detect mistakes that prevent their HTML code from working properly. This helps keep your professionalism from being damaged by overlooking simple mistakes.
4. A Useful Debugging Tool – HTML validation is a great debugging tool when used to be certain that you do not make any beginner mistakes when coding, making it a great tool for students. It cleans up your code and makes it as efficient as it can be.
5. Maintenance is Easier – Updates and maintenance on an validated HTML site is easier because the site will be coded using easily recognizable code. This makes it easier not only for you to update and maintain, but for any designers that may be used later in the website’s lifetime.
The following are 5 useful resources to easily validate your HTML code:
1. Firefox HTML Validator Add-on – Easily added to Firefox, this tool allows for HTML validation within Firefox and Mozilla. It displays the number of errors on the status bar of a HTML page.
2. CSE HTML Validator Lite – Offered as a free and user friendly tool for Microsoft Windows, it assures production of error-free HTML and XHTML documents.
3. W3C HTML Validation Service – This free tool allows for validating web documents in HTML, XHTML, SMIL, MathML, and others by file upload,URI, or direct input and gives you the ability to choose the option that works best for you.
4. Creating Online HTML Source Code Validator – Not only does this free, online tool search for errors in HTML source code, it takes the guesswork out by giving suggestions for corrections.
5. NetMechanic HTML Toolbox – Allows you to easily find and repair bad syntax and HTML tags that will stop your website from working properly.
Brian Flores writes for InMotion Hosting, one of the top providers of dedicated server solutions in the United States. You can follow him on Twitter at @BrianAFlores.