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The Business Benefits of Web Standards

If you have 10K of unnecessary code, and you have 100,000 visitors, your systems admin is going to need an extra server to handle the traffic.

More with less seems to be the mission impossible for web designers: Addressing more customers, a broader audience, more diversity in terms of browsers, more accessibility, users asking for more speed, while spending less to maintain or redesign a web site. Caught between a rock and a hard place, web designers face a formidable challenge. Yet they are finding an unsuspected ally in the battle: web standards.

Site wide look and feel consistency

By separating structure (or content) from presentation, web designers have a lot to gain. Specifically, presentation is defined using layout-oriented CSS language. Storing CSS in a separate document (aka style sheet) and applying it to a set of HTML documents permits a complete change of presentation for all these documents in a snap. Strict HTML (as opposed to the often-used transitional HMTL markup), forces the designer not to use presentation tags in the HTML documents, naturally enforcing the separation of content from presentation.

Improved User Experience

HTML code is often much more compact (therefore easier to read and maintain) when used in conjunction with CSS. CSS has now made it possible to transform table-based layouts into CSS-based layouts. Typically this reduces page size by 25 to 50% helping users those tend to close a web page when it takes more than 10 seconds to load.

Increase Website traffic through better search engine ranking

Being well-placed in search engines is one of the hardest challenges faced by webmasters. In this case, every bit helps. Search engine agents crawl the web to index it. Compared to human beings, there are very significant differences in how search engines operate. Dynamic effects such as those created by JavaScript are not taken into account, and text rendered with graphics cannot be read and parsed either. Separating presentation from content increases the information/markup ratio, making CSS-based documents more pertinent with regard to the search terms, which makes them rank higher in search results. Using CSS to render titles instead of graphics also helps in this regard.

Next: Extensibility

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Last modified on 27 june 2004

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