<p>The browser wars are over and with them the need to develop specific code for specific browsers. All the major browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari) are now cooperating so that the same piece of code in a web site will look the same in multiple browsers, as well as looking consistent in other browsing devices such as microbrowsers and TVs.</p><p><strong>What Are Web Standards?</strong></p><p>Designing with web standards is a general term used to mean that you use the following technologies, and that you use them correctly:</p>HTML or XHTML to contain the content,
CSS to hold all the styling,
<p>In the bad old days, HTML was used incorrectly. Objects like tables are meant to be used to hold tabular data but instead they were (ab)used to hold background images and other components just to artificially create a layout on a web page. Style information was mixed in along with the content making the code bloated and inefficient.</p><p>The web standards project seeks to:</p>persuade browser makers to support the standards, as they were intended and
persuade web professionals to use them that way.
<p><strong>Why Should I Care?</strong></p><p>There are numerous, tangible benefits to designing with web standards, not least of all, financial savings.</p><p><strong>Lower Costs</strong></p><p>Separating the content from the styling makes your site easier to update and maintain. This makes it less expensive for the developers as less time is needed to add new content, update existing content and test. Also, your site will be future-proofed. All compliant browsers will always support your code, you do not need to have the developers retest every time a new browser releases a new version just to make sure that the pages still look the same.</p><p>If your site is large then separation will also mean a substantial savings on the bandwidth, which in turn translates into lower hosting costs.</p><p><strong>Increased Findability, Improved SEO</strong></p><p>If your site uses meaningful (X)HTML then your site's content is easier for search engines and therefore customers to find. Some search engines score pages on how well-structured the markup is, your Alexa ranking is affected and other SEO metrics are also improved. For example, when you separate the site's content from the styling, your site gets lighter because there is less code. This means that your site loads into browsers faster and provides a better user experience, this represents an SEO benefit as search engines like Google score pages on their load time.</p><p><strong>Gain a Wider Audience, Find More Customers</strong></p><p>When your site complies web standards, accessibility is improved. That means that not only people with disabilities will be able to access your content, but also your site will be available to the new generation of mobile browsing devices automatically. In other words, new potential customers for free.</p><p>Designing with web standards is not about adhering to a set of rules just for the sake of it: the benefits are:</p>real improvements to your site and
real financial savings.
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