Nobody likes being ripped off – especially if they’re in business.
Yet most businesses are paying hundreds or thousands of dollars to their web designer for shoddy, substandard work. Are you?
Luckily, there’s a quick and easy way to find out.
Go to:http://validator.w3.org, type in your website address and click on the “Check” button.
If the page you see says “failed validation” in red writing, you might need to speak to your web designer – especially if there are more than a handful of errors.
Is your web designer one of the cowboys?
Unless you own a cattle ranch, you probably don’t want to employ cowboys. You certainly wouldn’t put up with substandard work from a builder or electrician, would you? What about an accountant that didn’t understand tax laws, would you want them handing your finances?
Well, most web designers produce websites that are shoddy and substandard – and worst of all they don’t even know it.
How can I tell if my site isn’t up to standard?
Many professions and industries have standards. With some professions, like medicine or law, you need a qualification before you even start doing it. Other industries, like food processing or construction, aren’t so strict about academic qualifications, but they do have standards that have to be met – like health and safety or food hygiene standards.
There’s no academic qualification you need in order to become a web designer. All you need is a computer with internet access and the confidence (or in some cases arrogance) to call yourself a web designer.
However, although many people (and most web designers) don’t know it – there are standards for websites.
What’s more – it’s really easy to test your website to see if it’s up to standard. All you need to do is visit a website (http://validator.w3.org/) and you can test your site.
What are Web Standards?
Websites are programmed using a computer language called HTML. There’s a right way to program HTML and there’s a wrong way. The right way to program HTML is called “Web Standards,” anything else is the wrong way.
The difference between the right and wrong way to program a website is technical – so if you’re a business owner you don’t need to understand the details.
However, you do need to understand that if your web designer hasn’t used Web Standards it means:
Your site will do worse in Search Engines – so you’ll get less visitors
It will take longer to download – so you’ll lose more of the visitors you do get
It could cost you more to maintain the website
It’s harder (and more expensive) to make changes to the website
Up to 40% of people might not be able to see your website properly because they use different type of computer or web browser than your web designer.
Your site is probably not going to be accessible to people with disabilities – which could mean you could fall foul of your local disability discrimination laws