|At present, a vast
majority of webmasters are designing hw3c standard html
and css for IE (Internet Explorer) 6, which is not as
W3C standards compliant as is FireFox, Netscape, Safari
article - "The importance of sound website design &
search spiders to Internet Marketers," I mentioned the
importance of a designer being cognizant of the fact
that web browser standards are not yet fully harmonized
- a web page that looks great in Internet Explorer (6)
might look hideous in a Mozilla based browser like css FireFox or
I also noted that with
the explosion of devices with which to serve Internet
applications, compliance with w3c standards has become
When the final release
for IE 7 for Windows XP, Server 2003 & Vista is
launched, hopefully before the end of 2006, the tables
will be turned, so to speak.
Internet Explorer 7
will be more standards compliant and your HTML code will
be subject to much more rigorous interpretation than is
the case with IE 6, consequently some web pages that
look fine in IE 6 might not look the same create website w3c IE 7.
In IE 7 Microsoft has
made a solemn effort to fix the browsers acquiescence to
W3C standards and CSS(Cascading Style Sheets)
compatibility. css create website interpretation as recommended by W3C
has been improved tremendously giving designers and
developers more leverage in functionality for
Microsoft asserts that
they are taking css W3C compatibility issues
Concisely what this
means is that IE 7 will tend to interpret your web page
code more scrupulously than before.
Therefore, if you have
been designing your pages and have not bothered to check
how they render in W3C Standards Compliant browsers like
FireFox, you may be in for a rude shock when IE 7
finally rolls out.
If you have not been
incorporating w3c create website standards in your
design strategy you may need to re-design for IE 7.
How should you go about
Design for "strict"
html browsers like css FireFox first. Not only is FireFox a
more standards-compliant browser but it is also the
primary competitor to Internet Explorer. A contender
backed by Google's marketing machine -- and therefore,
is not likely do "a Netscape" on designers.
Prior and up to IE 4.x,
Netscape was the leading browser in the market with
almost 80% of the market, but in a bid to force the
issue culminating with create website proprietary goofs by AOL to whom
Netscape sold out, they screwed up big time with
css versions 4 up to 6. A bitter war of attrition with
Microsoft in the late nineties did not help either.
Microsoft grabbed the
opportunity and gobbled the Browser market overnight.
With version 7+
Netscape has been revived. How well it will compete with
IE and FireFox remains to be seen.
I will be the first to
admit that most the web pages I have built in the online
mode fir the last
several years are not always standards compliant...and
so are ninety five percent of other web pages -- as I
stated in my previous article, "if strict W3C standards
were to be enforced in browsers, most websites would go
out of business."
To design for FireFox a
designer needs to combine Valid CSS (Cascading Style
Sheets) for "look and feel" and W3C compliant HTML for
web page structure.
The combination of
these two design strategies is powerful in that it
elicits tremendous flexibility, ease of maintenance and
opens up extensive possibilities in website design. The
benefits are rewarding, and every webmaster should
attempt to utilize this two pronged scheme in their
Making changes to
and/or styling a site designed with css is much easier
and more elegant than messing around with a traditional
CSS may look
intimidating to a first-timer but once you familiarize
with the basics you can progressively harness the power
of CSS to your full benefit. In addition, most web page
design tools such as Dreamweaver of FrontPage have built
in modules with which you can automatically generate CSS
code, which you can then view in a plain text editor for
To aid you in your CSS
endeavor you need the following developer tools: Web
Developer Extension for FireFox and the Internet
Explorer Developer Toolbar. Great time-saving tools for
creating, understanding, and troubleshooting Web pages.
As a matter of fact, by
installing some of the 1,500+ available FireFox
extensions you can eliminate the need for quite a chunk
of standalone desktop applications.
After designing your
Web page remember to us a MarkUp Validation Service to
check whether your Web page conforms to W3C
recommendations. If there are errors, the validator will
notify you of them and suggest corrections.
Also, remember that
when designing using w3c standards guidelines a lot of
code (tags) that were very valid in the "Pre-Standards"
era have completely depreciated create website and will
be ignored completely by browsers. If you ignore these
errors during html validation, your web pages might not
In many instances, you
may never be able to achieve 100% html or xhtml
validation. In such cases you may want put the following
DOCTYPE declaration in your document -- at the top of
your web page before the tag:
A "Document Type
Definition" or DTD supplies web design browsers with
information about which xhtml specification your web
page is built upon, which instructs the Browser how to
render the page for viewing.
In the example
captioned above a standards compliant web design browsers will
interpret your web page as an html 4.01 document, and
because it is marked as "Transitional," it will display
it in "quirks mode," meaning that the browser will forgo
the strict create website standards mode, and display
your page like it would be displayed in older
"non-strict" browsers, while still supporting any tags
developed after IE 4, Netscape 4 and others.
On the contrary, the
following DOCTYPE declaration tells the standards
compliant browsers that your web page should be
displayed in strict compliance with the DOCTYPE
< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC
"-//w3c//DTD html 4.01//EN" >
A complete list of
recommended DTDs can be found at the w3c create website.
If you leave the
DOCTYPE out, the browsers automatically switch to create
website "quirks mode," therefore, it is important to
include the DOCTYPE declaration on every web page that
you build in order for it to be rendered correctly.
If your Web pages
render well in css FireFox at present you probably will not
encounter any major create website problems in IE 7 other than minor
adjustments here and there. However, I think a realistic
designer should at least make a meaningful attempt to
follow w3c guidelines for it is the correct way forward.
Do it now so that you
will ready for the future...re-designs and total
overhauls are a time consuming and painful process. A
process, which becomes much easier if your initial
design incorporated structurally clean and modular html
with css compliance.