Web standards – Web standards are a general term for the set of rules and technical specifications for website code established by the W3C and other standard bodies.
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) – an international industry consortium dedicated to “leading the Web to its full potential”.
Websites and the technologies used to make them work are constantly evolving and standards need to be put into place to ensure that everyone has access to information as well as make web development faster and more enjoyable.
Standards compliance makes a website easier for people with special needs to use, is better for search engines, and is easier to maintain.
Some people believe that standards are limiting, but in actuality they remove much of the tedious labor involved with web development. They help coordinate with past technology and are mindful of future improvements.
The act of testing the validity of your site is easy. Just go to http://validator.w3.org/unicorn/ and type in the URL of the page you would like to validate.
Actually fixing all of the errors in your site is a totally different story, which can be very difficult at times depending on your level of experience and familiarity with standards.
Google will be your best friend when you are first learning about validating websites. I promise you that as you work more on standards compliancy you will get more familiar with it and it will get easier. You will eventually get to the point where you will write standards complaint code right from the beginning.
With standards compliant code, web developers can make sure that a website is properly structured and semantically coded. It makes the site easier to manage, more accessible, and better for search engines.
Browser consistency is a common problem for web developers and starting out with standards compliant code will make cross browser compatibility much easier.
Cleaning up website errors is a tough process. It can be very frustrating when you first start to tackle them, but as you get better validating will be easier.
The mission of the W3C is to make the web a better place for developers and end users by encouraging worldwide standards. This effort will be greatly helped when web developers use the standards as a matter of course.