Mark E. Buckley

Web Design Compliance

Articles about making your site compliant with current codes. Advice about following current best practices.

The effectiveness of your web site is determined by

  1. How does it look
  2. How does it sound
  3. How is it built
  4. Can it be found

This section deals with the third item.

Like other trades, web design has certain rules and standards. The rules primarily come from the W3C which is responsible for HTML as a markup language. The current standard for web design is called XHTML 1.0.

We design all our sites to use the current standards and best practices.

We do not use frames or table based layouts. We use CSS - Cascading Style Sheets.

We use well-formed XHTML. This is similar to the old HTML but has strict rules about how the code is written. I will not bore you with the details.

We use valid XHTML. This means the code is well formed and it has a DOCTYPE definition. Again I will not bore you with the details.

How do you know if a site is valid? You simply go to and type in the web site address. If it is perfect, it will say it is XHTML 1.0 Strict. It may say it is valid but indicate an older version like HTML 4.0 Transitional. That means it is good if it was designed in 1999 or so. It may say it is invalid and list out a bunch of errors.

There are additional rules (or interpretations of the rules) from the browser software companies and from the search engines.