Glasgow Web Design are a UK Website Design and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) company based in Glasgow, Scotland

Web Standards

Web standards compliant websites are:

What Are Web Standards?

Web Standards refer to a series of published guidelines that govern both web accessibility and underlying web technologies (including languages such as (X)HTML, CSS, Javascript and DOM). The majority of web standards are established by the W3C with the aim of promoting standardisation in the various technologies used by web browsers and other software.

Benefits of Website Standards

By separating the underlying structure of the website (HTML) from the presentation (CSS), it is possible to greatly reduce the amount of code necessary to build a website. Less code means smaller file sizes, so standards-based web design can lead to fast loading websites, as well as reduced bandwidth usage.

Another benefit of working with smaller, simpler files is that large websites become easier to maintain. CSS web design involves moving all of the presentation aspects of a website design into a separate CSS file. The benefit of CSS website design is that future stylistic changes can be then made consistently across the whole site by modifying just one line of CSS code, reducing the workload (and cost) involved in managing a website.

Web standards describe how web browsers should display on the screen the HTML and CSS code that makes up a website, so in theory standards-compliant websites will be compatible with all browsers. Unfortunately this is not always the case, because of the widespread use of incomplete and non-compliant browsers, most notably Microsoft Internet Explorer. However, standards-based web design is still a goal worth pursuing, as it will ensure compatibility with new web browsers and new hardware devices into the future.

Standards-compliant websites are more accessible to a variety of users, including people with visual disabilities using screen reader software, as well as people using internet-enabled mobile devices.

Lean, accessible website coding also helps search engines understand the structure and content of your website more readily. Reducing the amount of unnecessary 'scaffolding' code means that for search engines the ratio of signal to noise is higher, which can lead to higher search engine rankings.

Standards Compliant Web Design

In practical terms, using web standards in website design means producing valid, accessible, semantically correct markup, with a clean separation of content and presentation.

Valid code is code that has been tested against an established coding standard, such as the W3Cs published (X)HTML and CSS standards. Invalid code contains errors, and may display unpredictably in browsers. Valid code will display faster and more consistently in web browsers.

Website accessibility entails making your website available to more people through providing text equivalents for images, allowing people to resize fonts, and so on. Glasgow Web Design recognise the importance of accessible web design.

Semantic markup refers to the use of the most appropriate HTML element, such as using a heading element (h1) for a heading, and a paragraph element (p) for a paragraph. This is preferable to using inappropriate HTML elements, since different browsers can use appropriate elements to better understand the structure of the document.

CSS web design involves the separation of content from presentation, using a separate CSS file to control the visual appearance of a website rather than controlling the appearance within each page. The benefits of separating content and presentation include faster download speeds and ease of changing the appearance of the whole site at once.

Web Standards in Scotland

Glasgow Web Design offer web-standards based website design to all our clients, and aim wherever possible to produce fast-loading, cross-browser compatible, accessible websites that rank well in search engines.

If you are looking for standards-based web designers in Scotland, give us a call on 0141 424 3408 to discuss your project.

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