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Adhering to standards

It's a little known fact that there are standards when designing and building websites, much like building-regulations when building a house.

These standards are set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C for short), a group made up of advisors from the likes of Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, etc.

It's a sad fact that many web-designers don't follow these standards, either because they don't even know about them, or they're lazy.

When caught out, they'll often make excuses that the standards aren't important.

Would you trust a builder if he told you building-regulations weren't important?

Failing to abide by these standards can affect not only how your website displays in various browsers, but also how Google ranks your website.

As you can imagine, a sloppy website probably won't be looked on favouribly by Google.

A website can sometimes look great, but still have many underlying issues according to the W3C.

As I always say: There's more to building a website, than just building a website.

When I build a website, I adhere to every single standard set out by the W3C, you'd be a fool not to.

The W3C Validator

To check a page on any given website, the W3C provides a free tool called the W3C Validator.

This tool will show how many errors and how many warnings a page has.

Unless you're a developer most of the results will look like jibberish, so just count the number of red and yellow boxes you see.

Ideally you want to see a single green message.

Before choosing a web-designer, it can be quite insightful to use the W3C Validator on a selection of their portfolio websites, to see what sort of attention your own site will get.

Sharing is caring, right?

For any website to be online it needs to be hosted on a server somewhere on the World Wide Web.

One common option is to share space with another website, and reduce costs.

Unfortunately some web designers take this to the extreme, and put a website on the same server as literally thousands of other websites.

If one of those websites gets really busy, it can affect all the other websites running on that server.

If the server gets attacked and goes offline, then every website on that server also goes offline.

Check your neighbours

There are a few tools online that will list all the websites on a single server.

Standard extras

SSL

If you're currently being charged for an SSL certificate (the thing that gives you https and the padlock in the address bar), these are now free, for all.

No-one should be paying for SSL anymore. See Let's Encrypt for details.

Email

There's a few ways email works on the Internet.

  • Exchange
    • Provided by Microsoft.
    • Can be slow, since it typically requires powerful servers.
    • Expensive. There are cheaper options (see below).
  • POP
    • Collect your email from the server and delete it.
    • Difficult to read mail on multiple devices (since the first one to collect the mail deletes it).
    • Outdated, you should not be offered or sold this service anymore.
  • IMAP
    • Collect your email from the server on multiple devices.
    • Read on one device, see it "marked as read" on another.

Let's fix it

If you've found possible problems with your website, let's have a chat about putting it right.