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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

About validation

Why Validate

1> Within the page there are two languages being used xhtml 1.0 and css. In order for the page to display correctly both languages have to written with the correct grammar or, as it is properly called, syntax.

2> Web Pages are now "displayed" on a variety of devices:

  • Web Browser
  • Screen Reader
  • Braille Reader
  • Printer

Just to name a few. It is no longer just the Web Browser and even if it was the browser can be within any number of operating systems or platforms. This is why there are web standards.

To work on the different devices you can write different style sheets and target them to a particular device type. If the html is erroneous then the display will be faulty across all devices.

3> In our case, the web page is an intermediate step before breaking it apart to create a WordPress theme. So if this page has errors, they will be magnified when the page is dissected and the theme will never validate without a lot of debugging.

4> Errors in the html can cause problems for the spiders when they try to scan your pages. If there are too many errors they will ignore the page. This means it won’t get ranked… need I say more?

Web Developers ToolBar

The easiest way of checking both is by installing the Web Developers ToolBar for FireFox which also works in Flock.

Once you have installed it go to Tools > Web Developer > Options > Options in the FireFox/Flock menubar, then check that Show Source is ticked.
Web Developer

HTML Validation

Now you can Preview your web page and then select Tools > Validate Local HTML from the Web Developer ToolBar (note: You must be online). If everything is good then you will get the message “This Page Is Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional!” in a green bar across the screen.

If anything is wrong then you will get “This page is not Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional!” in a red/rust colored bar. Below this, the errors will be listed along with their line numbers so you can fix the problem.

One thing to watch is that one error can cause a multitude of error messages. What I do is fix one problem at a time and then re-validate. For example, as a test I deleted just one tag and it caused nine error messages!

CSS Validation

This is much the same as the HTML Validation. You Preview the web page and then select Tools > Validate Local CSS from the Web Developer ToolBar. If the page is good you will see “Jump To: Validated CSS” at the top of the page.

If there is a problem you will get “Sorry! We found the following errors” in a red/rust bar followed by the list of errors. The list will have line numbers but the code will not. This can make finding the error harder but it does give enough of the code to make it not impossible.

In conclusion, validating your pages is not exactly rocket science and you will have less problems if you take the extra time to make sure your pages are valid.

Other Blogs I Author
1. Across this bridge
2. Marketing myself
3. Struggling parents
4. When life become a book
5. Read Between the Lines
6. Internet Lifestyle
7. The Sleeping Turtle Art Gallery

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