While there’s no rule stating that you must validate your Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), doing so will almost certainly prove beneficial. By running your code through a validator, you’ll be able to check it for syntax errors and other problems. But that’s really just one of the many reasons why you should validate your HTML.
#1) Identify Accessibility Problems
Validating your HTML can help catch accessibility problems that could otherwise prevent human visitors and/or search engines from accessing it.
#2) Optimize for Faster Load Times
Maintaining fast load times is essential when developing a website. Aside from its impact on user experience, Google uses load times as a ranking signal in its search ranking algorithm. Validating your HTML can promote faster load times by identifying unnecessary code, as well as code that was poorly written. Fixing these problems may not yield a huge improvement in terms of site speed, but every little bit helps.
#3) Ensure Browser Compatibility
Just because your HTML looks fine when viewed in Firefox, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will in Internet Explorer or Google Chrome. By running your code through a validator, however, you can ensure that it’s compatible with all of the major web browsers. And if it isn’t, the validator will reveal the underlying problem.
#4) Debugging Tool
According to a survey of web professionals cited by W3C, validation errors is the first thing they will check after encountering a bug. An HTML validator essentially works as a debugging tool, revealing bugs and errors that often go unnoticed.
#5) Future Quality Assurance
The Internet and its respective specifications for developing websites has evolved drastically over the past decade. While there’s no way to tell what’s in store for the future of HTML, you can promote greater reliability for the future by validating your code.
Of course, investing the necessary time and effort to validate your HTML sends a clear message of professionalism. Web developers take pride in their work, and as such, it only makes sense for them to validate their HTML. The high level of professionalism associated with validated HTML may also prove useful in attracting customers or clients for commercial websites.
How to Validate HTML
To validate your HTML, simply visit https://validator.w3.org/ and enter the URL of your webpage. Alternatively, you can choose to upload a file (HTML, XHTML, SMIL, MathML, etc.) by choosing the “Validate by File Upload” tab at the top.
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