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Why Does Valid Code Matter?

Written by Benjamin Wigoder, published in DevWebPro

Learning to use valid html code is one of those website building techniques you decide to use. It is a big step requiring the use of validators, doctype declarations and often lots of extra work.

But now for the big question: Is it worth all the effort?

Benefits of valid HTML Code

* Valid code renders faster than invalid code!

* Valid code will render better than invalid code!

* Browsers are becoming more standards compliant, and therefore it is important to write valid standards compliant HTML.

* The search engines understand better/prefer standards compliant code!

Valid code renders faster than invalid code.

That depends. If code has to be made so much bigger because of extra code to make it compliant, then obviously it will not load faster. It will probably look the same as well.

However, valid code gives the browser interpreting the webpage the advantage of understanding the exact structure, and so your visitors with slower computers will reap the benefits of your valid webpage!

Valid code will render better than invalid code!

Not always. Sometimes it is impossible to achieve what you want with valid code – some layouts are impossible in this way. The boundary should never be what is easily achievable and what is not, you should change your design based on what you can achieve in line with the current standards.

Browsers are becoming more standards compliant – so write valid html.

The new Internet Explorer (MSIE 7) – which is to be released soon, is said to be much more standards compliant than the current Internet Explorer and so now is the time to look into a css-compliant website. (While making sure it downgrades nicely for current MSIE 6 users of course!)

Browsers such as Mozilla Firefox which are already standards compliant are excellent for testing how your website looks, and most web professionals use Firefox for their normal browsing anyway.

The search engines understand/prefer standards compliant code!

Many SEO Experts believe that the big 3 search engines: Google, MSN & Yahoo take valid code into account when calculating rankings. For that extra boost to your rankings, design valid webpages!

So what do I do?

Valid code will do more good than harm, so it’s worth a try. All you need is to choose a doctype, use the W3 HTML Validator to check your code is correct and learn to code well according to the current guidelines and you can look forward to that boost you’ve been hoping for!


Remember! Although valid coding will help it won’t get you straight to Number 1! There are loads of factors affecting search engine rankings and code is just one of them. Reading more website building tutorials will help you loads! Also make sure you keep your content freshly updated, and those links coming in and you’ll be top in no time!

About the Author:
Benjamin Wigoder is a freelance professional web designer, SEO, and programmer. His main website provides superb website building tutorials.

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Camilla Todd
Camilla Todd is Head of Digital Marketing at WNW Digital and manages Search Engine Optimisation, PPC, Social Media campaigns and Brand Awareness for WNW Digital SEO clients. You can follow her on Twitter @camilla_wnw, email her at or phone on 01392 349580

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