So you’ve just spent hours upon hours coding your website, and now it looks absolutely perfect. However, before you go publishing it on a server for the whole world to see, you should consider doing a quick validation check of your website. Validation just means checking your website to make sure the HTML, CSS, or XHTML are free from errors and up to web standards. You can do this by going through your code line-by-line and double-checking your work, OR the better option would be to use one of the Internet’s many validation tools!
There are tons of validation tools in existence, but here are just a few that I found to be helpful:
W3C Validation Service: You can’t go wrong with a validation service that is provided by W3C (for those that don’t know, W3C stands for World Wide Web Consortium, and they are an international community that develops many of the web standards that developers adhere to today). You can validate your code in three different ways: 1) provide a link to your website already on the web, 2) upload your files that contain the code, or 3) input the code directly into the text box on the validation site. This validator automatically detects the code you’re inputting, so all you have to do is hit the large “Check” button, and the validator will output a list of any warnings or errors that it finds.
W3C CSS Validation Service: While the first W3C validator website checks mostly for errors in HTML and XHTML coding, this validator is specifically designed to check CSS coding.
HTML Validator Pro: As you may suspect from the name, this website only validates HTML. However, this validator does provide some nifty tools that you can use. You can check specifically for spelling, broken links, or even page ranking.
Browser Shots: If you’re wanting to see how your website looks in different browsers, but you don’t want to go through the hassle of testing each and every browser individually, you’ll find Browser Shots to be a timesaver. Enter your website URL, and the validator will take screenshots of your website on any number of browsers of your choosing and then output them for you to see and compare.
As I stated earlier, it’s very important to validate your websites before you publish, as there are a lot of benefits to doing so. By validating your website, you ensure that it will be interpreted the same way by search engines, browsers and users, as your website will be conforming to web standards. This means that your website will become accessible to more people, which will boost your rankings in the search engines.
Compatibility across browsers is very important to check; sometimes there might be an error in your HTML/CSS code that Google Chrome might overlook, but it will mess up your code when viewed on Firefox. In regards to search engines, broken code (especially broken links) might be an indicator of a bad website, and so web crawlers may be wary about indexing your website. Things like this are vital if you’re trying to boost your web rankings, and so you should aim to validate your website not only when you first publish it, but every couple of months just to make sure everything is in working order.
Sources: [ Validating a Website ]