I just watched Matt Cutts latest webmaster video and felt it was worth commenting on here.
I am often asked by clients, markets and developers why I am such a stickler on validation and why should they or their designers bother?
First off, those that know me and have worked with me, know that in HTML, I don’t look for perfect code but strive for good coding practices. Why? For several reasons:
- good code means faster load time
- valid means no errors
- well structured code means easier updating
- compatibility with current and future technologies and plugins.
- anything worth doing is worth doing right.
If your website is well coded then the search engines don’t need to figure out what the developers intent was and can more quickly render the page as intended.
If a website is created and coded according to conventions it (for the most part) will not throw any errors, regardless of the browser, OS or platform the site visitor is using. No errors means the visitor has a better experience, will not be turned off, may comeback and might even be convinced to purchase your product or service.
I have a client I’m just finishing up with who’s last design team created a beautiful website, but the code was horrific, the base of the site was unable to be updated for security or any other reason. Suffice it to say, we had to totally reinvent the site to get it future ready, search engine friendly, and cut the load time in half. I tend to council clients to avoid custom coded back ends for their sites unless they are willing to have a developer on retainer to maintain the code with security updates and relevancy.
Well coded HTML allows for the use of enhancements to the website in the corn of commercially available plugins and coffee snippets that may not work if the code is badly written.
I could come up with a few more great reasons I’m sure, but for now I’ll leave you with simply: “Anything with doing is worth doing well!”. And I would hope your website is worthwhile.