Why Having Valid HTML and CSS is Important
Many web designers and or developers tend to forget how important it is to keep their code valid and organized when developing or creating website. They generally ignore code that may be in error, or code they used as a quick shortcut to get around browser limitations or faults. There are many issues or problems that arise due to the cause of not validating your code and thus, we discuss several reasons to why having valid HTML and CSS is important.
Browser Guess Work
When you have invalid code such as closing certain HTML tags in the wrong order, leaving many open, using HTML tags invalidly, or using CSS elements or properties incorrectly, browsers tend to try to patch your work for you in order to eliminate as much rendering errors as possible. However, the problem with this is, is that every browser has its own way of trying to do the patch work, leaving your website looking and functioning different from browser-to-browser, or platform-to-platform. Therefore, always make sure your code is validated in order to eliminate many errors that you may have missed, and those that the browsers may have tried to move around to fix for you.
Bad Coding Leads to Bad Habits
As the text above describes, we all generally tend to have a bad development or coding habit that we do not know of, and oppositely think otherwise. This is usually the cause of bad coding that we never caught earlier in our coding stages due to not going over our work, or not validating our code. Validation tools are generally helpful as they help appoint errors we may not have seen otherwise, and to eliminate this validation process hinders our development style for the future. Therefore, validating your code increases on good coding habits for your future indirectly whether knowingly or not.
Validation Leads to Professionalism
If you are a freelancer or work for a design or development firm, you know that professionalism is key to your success. As a part of professionalism, making sure your code validates is very important as it somewhat provides a general idea or image about you and the way you work.
For example, if I am making a batch of cookies, analysts will look at the process of how I make them, how efficient I am, and how clean I work. If I am a very messy person when making these cookies, I will definitely get points knocked off in the eyes of the analyst. Similarly, code validation should be a standard for you to express that you care about your work, and that you are a well organized coder or developer who cares whether what he or she develops is proper or not.
Invalid Code Frustrations
We sometimes become caught up with some HTML and CSS debugging work where we spend hours in on end trying to fix certain bugs we just absolutely cannot find. In many cases, these hours of debugging spent are caused by invalid code that you may have stuck in that you thought was right. Therefore, instead of spending five minutes of your time knowing what the problem is and fixing it, you end up spending hours trying to find the problem to fix it. Thus, always spend the few minutes it takes you to assure your code is valid, as the time you save, and the knowledge you gain, is priceless.
To conclude, code validation should definitely be a standard or routine habit for you as the benefits are absolutely enormous. Think of it as a routine doctor’s checkup, it is better to find out what you have in your system that is being developed rather than being shocked about something you may have had years down the line.