Understanding Web Standards for Business

Lately I’ve been noticing many designers and developers understand the necessity of creating Web sites according to standards, but that is not being communicated to whom it is most important – the client.  As people building Web sites we know that the standards set forth aid in creating sites that will be easier to access, maintain and support in the future.  We know the technical aspects of why standards-based design is best.

Somehow, the people we are building Web sites for still don’t understand the importance of Web standards though.  Their reasoning for standards vs. non-standards is often ungrounded.  For some it is the cost; it’s easier to find a “Web Guy” that will slap together a quick, image-heavy, table-based-layout Web site for cheep, than it is to find a team that will put together a well thought out, efficient, accessible and scalable Web site.  Then for others it’s ignorance; just simply not knowing the benefits of a site built correctly.

So here’s a few main things to point out about complying with W3C standards:

  • Following standards ensure your site will work in the future, not just today.
  • More browsers and devices will display your site correctly, all the time.
  • Your site will perform faster when complying with the W3C Standards.
  • People with disabilities will be able to access the content on your site easier.

It is our responsibility as professional Web designers and developers to educate our clients, and help them understand the importance of having their site done right.

  • http://andrewwoods.net Andrew Woods

    I too have been noticing the design/development community increasing their understanding. This is a great thing. I do think the knowledge of the importance needs to extend beyond, but I’m thinking more about people in other parts of the business like human resources, marketing, middle and upper management.

    As far as talking with clients, I’m wondering how much you should get into it. Do they need to know? Now it’s just part of developers and designers process. It’s just something we do. I guess I’m not thinking of it as an optional line item.