Why Comply? The Movement to W3C Compliance
The Internet: a powerful tool with endless possibilities to advance business, connect people and share information.
We believe that with those opportunities comes a real responsibility to understand its complexity and provide universal solutions to its issues.
For Web developers, in particular, the onus falls on creating sites aimed at maximizing client contact through well-rounded, functional vehicles that drive traffic and generate sales. And in today’s global economy, it also means using code that is W3C compliant.
Luckily, the Internet community can be a very friendly, helpful environment; one that understands the need for universality, develops protocols to meet the need and shares them with the masses.
One non-partisan group playing a vital role in establishing common ground on the Internet is the World Wide Web Consortium. W3C, as it’s known, claims a mission to “lead the Web to its full potential” by developing and dispersing inter-operable technologies and guidelines.
One of its most-significant achievements has been breaking down the barrier between businesses and their full customer base by creating coding guidelines for Web sites that enable any browser to view its pages.
This means mega-browsers like Internet Explorer and emerging open-source options like Mozilla and Firefox can co-exist on the Internet without impacting a company’s bottom line.
Understanding the importance of W3C compliance in your Web site coding is a straightforward concept. It’s as easy as recognizing not all of your customers are using the same technology you are, and that building your Web site to be accessible by the greatest number of users is critical.
While it was – and mostly still is – fairly safe to assume many users are surfing the Web with Internet Explorer or Netscape as their browser, we are confident that soon enough, that will not be the case.
A fast-growing population of surfers is opting to employ open-source browsers like Mozilla and Firefox instead of a “name-brand source.” When written with W3C compliance standards in-mind, whatever browser your customer uses to see your Web site becomes irrelevant. All of your information will appear on their screen – and the rest is up to you.
Since there are no governing bodies forcing companies to comply with standards aimed at creating a universal Web, it’s entirely voluntary. But we believe it’s a choice that makes the most sense in the competitive Internet economy.
Thanks to the World Wide Web Consortium, there is mechanism – a standardization – in language that opens the doors to business and its customers across the world.
There are no rules in place that say you can’t build a Web site that’s only viewable in Internet Explorer or Netscape. That’s entirely up to you.
What’s also up to you is whether you are satisfied with the fact that customers – a skyrocketing number of them – will not be able to reach you because your Web site doesn’t speak their computer language.
Aaron Wittersheim is the president of Whoast Inc., an Internet marketing firm based in the Chicago suburbs. For more information, visit http://www.whoast.com