What is (X)HTML validation, and is it important? Validation is to ensure that the HTML markup is correct, using a third party validation service or application. The accepted industry standard is the W3C Markup Validator Service.
Ensuring that your HTML is valid is important. For example, validators ensure your HTML markup tags are properly closed and nested. This is crucial to ensure that your web page and web site looks the way it was intended to your audience (web surfers) regardless of the browser they are using. Your website needs to be consistent in look and feel. Making the HTML valid goes a long ways to make this so. One missing closing DIV tag can create serious layout issues which may be browser dependent. Such issues can drive away traffic.
Validation also serves as a debugging tool. Going through the process of validation all your HTML can also catch related and unrelated errors in your HTML and layout that you may not have noticed in the haste of coding the HTML.
Validation increases confidence that your web page will look the same in the future when new browser versions are released since browsers adhere (more or less) to the same web standards as the validation process. Building for today’s browsers may be fine and dandy today, but if you do not conform to accepted web standards, your web page may not look the same down the road in the future. Build your website for today and tomorrow as we do not always know what tomorrow brings.
Validation also is a sign of professionalism. The web page looks professional. The web site looks professional. Your company and your products look more professional.
If you have not already, check if your website is (X)HTML valid. If not, depending on the number and type of errors (and number of pages including the size and complexity of the web pages), it can be quite the chore. But, it is well worth the effort. We can help you in the process, but we do charge for this service. That said, even the most inexperienced novice can do it. There is a learning curve, but soon you will be a master. The W3C Markup Validator Service does provide (very) helpful hints with any errors – they can be cryptic at times, but a little research will get you into the swing of things.