W3c markup validation and Big websites – Is it really needed?

Today, I would like to talk about W3C XHTML validation service.This service checks the XHTML of your website and reports you if your web page have any error or warning according to standard of W3C. If you are talking about this website currently you’ll find 74 Errors, 24 warning(s) and frankly I’ve never been bothered about correcting those errors of XHTML because it takes a bit of time and believe me I’m a very lazy boy. In this post, I would like to show you a interesting data of W3C validation among the top rated websites.You’ll be amazed to come to know that they’re also lazy like me :-) .

W3C XHTML validation of Big website.

I’ve checked the W3C’s XHTML validation among the top 7 wesites rated by ALEXA. You can look at the result below.






As you can see in the above stat, Microsoft’s websites only cared about W3C validation. Other websites are not really worried about this validation. I’m even wondered above stat from Gooogle which don’t have much elements in their home page but a search box and some hyperlinks.

Is XHTML validation really needed in your web page?

I’m not the person who can decide weather the XHTML validation is really needed or not in you web page. But you know web designers spent a lot time for XHTML validations of each page. Do you think it really worth ? Why the big guns website doesn’t follow the W3C standard? Is your website is XHTML valid ? Please share your thought.

20 thoughts on “W3c markup validation and Big websites – Is it really needed?

  1. Bogdan

    I’ve only ever had 1 request to make a website W3C compliant. For me, it’s always usability and functionality rather than standards. And in today’s world, where you have so many browsers to consider when coding a website (thank you, Google, for adding another), you’re forced to use loads of hacks to make it work properly.

  2. Well, I agree with you, most W3C validations take too much time = money to implement and even if it validates, in a couple of browsers you can see some problems…

  3. @Bogdan & @David – Ya exactly..I also do stick on usability and functionality..there are so many browsers and when you use CSS hacks for a browser they don’t validate to W3C…it’s really weired…what to care about and what to not!!….

  4. I try to make my site’s HTML valid – but I dont care that much about CSS validation.

    Microsoft’s sites validates – not that was not something I expected.

  5. @Bogdan: Google’s Chrome is based on WebKit (rendering engine), so basically you can handle it as Safari.

    Microsoft’s sites didnt validate in the past, but they redesigned them in recent times (maybe 1-2 years?) I think.

    Anyway, I care about validation cause its a good base for browser vendors to create a rendering engine. If everybody would do what he liked to do, then we would up in more and more browser hacks …

  6. Bogdan

    @arty. Good point about Chrome. I must admit though, I put Safari in the same box as Opera and tend to only rarely thoroughly check how stuff displays there, as they hold a very minor share in the browser usage market and they mostly do things correctly.

    With Chrome however, I’m pretty sure that Google’s brand and the open source nature of the project will draw a large community and make the product a very popular one in the future. So offering an important option to take into consideration besides Firefox and IE is not particularly pleasing for a developer.

  7. jmcs

    Most of the times a site will render as well in webkit as it does in gecko.

  8. I found my site came up with only 20 errors and im no W3C pro at all, however google returned 75?

    I think that this is just another way of some developers saying they are better than others. 99.9% of sites probably wont return valid, the simple fact being that as stated above, there are too many browsers to consider when developing. In doing so you would have to use code that is valid for a browser specifically but invalid for W3C standards.

    TBH i prefer to not care, but im not a professional yet, i guess in a few years we will see what happens eh 😉

  9. Hi Roshan,

    I always try to write valid code if I can, because it is better for accessability etc. However, I won’t necessarily sacrifice functionality for it. One of my WordPress plugins causes 2 validation errors because it makes the plugin better.

    Also, it’s worth pointing out that for blogs, it’s really hard to control what users enter. If you allow basic HTML in comments, a commentator can easily break your validation.

  10. @Stephen Cronsin- you’re absolutely correct ….it’s really hard to maintain validation for blogs and blog owner can’t run behind validation each and every time a user post the comment…the template which is W3C validated is going to be ruined when you start running your blog

  11. This topic comes up time and time again. It is true that web standards are not an absolute truth and should not be taken as gospel. However, web standards are a set of super valuable guidelines that can help you with accessibility, SEO, performance, lower maintenance cost, etc, etc.
    I have written a few posts on the subject that you might find interesting:

    http://www.aggiorno.com/blog/post/Web-Standards-and-Search-Engine-Optimization-(SEO)—-Does-Google-care-about-the-quality-of-your-markup.aspx

    and

    http://www.aggiorno.com/blog/post/Accessibility-Checklist-and-Web-Standards.aspx

  12. @Federico Zoufaly – Do you really think W3C validation will really help you to rank better in SERP? I really don’t think so….Is there any proof for this statement….

  13. @ Roshan. Yes it can. Again, validation is just a very good practice. Your page might not validate for many different reasons. Some of them (maybe the majority) are handled by search engine bots but some are not. In my article on Google and SEO that I put in my other post there are links to concrete examples of how this really affects SEO.
    The point goes like this, the Search Engine Bot needs to parse your page to find out which elements to index and how. If the page contains syntax errors then the bot can and does get confused. The bot psrser is a lot less tolerant than the normal browser parser.
    In addition, if your page does not validate, chances are it does not comply with accessibility standards either (again, validation does not imply accessibility in the same way as validation does not imply better ranking, but it is a very good practice). If a page validates chances are that the different parsers that read can interpret it better (think mobile, think, bots, think screen readers for visually impaired….)

  14. “you’re forced to use loads of hacks to make it work properly.”

    Because some of them arnt supporting the standards.

    Its chicken and egg.
    If everyone supported standards then writting a website would be a hell of a lot easier.

    If everyone writting websites supported standards then browsers would be a hell of a lot easier to make.

    Both can blame the other, and claim thats the reason why they cant support standards.

    ” So offering an important option to take into consideration besides Firefox and IE is not particularly pleasing for a developer.”

    It supports SVG, and knows how Z-index works.
    It also does a great job with the acid tests.

    Another browser isnt so much a problem so much as another spec on the mountine of problems from IE.

    Personaly, I’m a developer really pleased with Chrome as I’m hoping it will help kick microsoft into supporting some stuff decently.
    I mean, why on earth they are the only ones without decent SVG support I havnt a clue. Adobe briding them?

    SVG could, among other things, let web developers do a gradient background in two lines of code in the html itself.

    Yet Microsoft has declared they wont even support it for IE8.

  15. @Darrflame- you got the right points and every developers are suffering from IE and don’t know how long they will have to suffer from it as it is the largest browser used by internet users..I think in this case Microsoft is being a bit of arrogant with IE browsers

  16. Yes, but its unfair to say that, mozilla processes CSS differently to IE (which came out first) so wouldnt that make (according to most peoples way of thinking) mozilla wrong?

    Then google have the nerve to come out with another web browser to complicate things further which dont comply to the standards yet either…

    I believe its the whole “lets add just one more browser to the market” attitude being used multiple times that causes this incompatibility.

    At this point i think microsoft is taking it fairly, they have supported everything on their previous browsers but because new browsers come out, and then new standards for THOSE browsers, everyone else is forced to update theirs? Talk about unfair on developers.

  17. As long as non validated pages still accessible and usable, I think it doesn’t matter.
    Waiting SVG support for IE9? Who knows..but it’s too long..
    Please use browsers with open web (web standards) support. Choose between Opera (Presto machine; lightweight, fastest), Firefox (Gecko; cuztomizable), Safari (WebKit; modern look, fast) or the same engines.

  18. In terms of search engine optimisation, the same website that is not compliant to W3C standards will fair less in the rankings given the same criteria i.e. backlinks, keywords, etc.
    Obviously a larger website already has lots of quality backlinks so standards become irrelevant.

  19. This was something that recently came up for me on my website: http://staminafitnessequipment.com

    According to Googler boffs it is not neccessary and not a factor in indexing at least within Google.

  20. I try to make my site’s XHTML valid but don’t care.

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