W3C and DDA Compliance
Why complying to the correct standards and accessibility guidelines is important…

By making the effort to comply and ensuring that your website validates against the W3C and DDA standards, you will benefit from having better and consistent code and not have to worry about any rendering issues in the various browsers used to view your website.

The W3C consortium is an international consortium that develops web standards. W3C develops protocols and guidelines to ensure long-term stability and scalability for the web.

It is these standards that all browsers must comply in order to render websites in the way the designer intended. Any errors or ambiguities in these standards will inevitably mean that the webpage will not display correctly or many look different in the various browsers such as Firefox and Internet Explorer.

The Web uses various markup languages such as HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) or XML (eXtensible Markup Language). There are protocols and standards that you must comply with in order that your webpages render correctly and more importantly, the same in the different versions of browsers).

Web accessibility is all about equal access and equal opportunity to people with disabilities when visiting your website. Using web technology, accessibility issues previously encountered with print, audio and visual media can be overcome.

There are various guidelines and techniques available here: http://www.w3.org/WAI/guid-tech to help you design and develop accessible websites.

You can check your site for any validation errors here: http://validator.w3.org

You can check your css for any validation errors here: http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator

The benefits of meeting the specified guidelines are that your website will load and run quicker in the various browsers because they will not need to interpret any ambiguities or errors. Your website will also look the same in all browsers meaning that you will not have to worry about adding any special code or hacks to make sure in renders how you intended in the different versions of browsers.

If your webpages do not validate against W3C and DDA standards, then any of the following may occur:

  • you risk being penalised by the search engines by not being indexed correctly
  • you risk different versions on browsers rendering your pages differently
  • your website may even cause the browser to crash
  • you risk failing certain DDA (disability discrimination act) guidelines and may be fined
It is well worth the effort in taking steps to ensure your website validates against these standards. Once any errors have been rectified, you also have the added benefit of proudly displaying the W3C compliance icon.

Checkout the W3C links to validate your website. If you need additional assistance, you can explore any syntax issues with your code at: www.w3schools.com