Druk, druk, druk (voor ene keer). Een discussie gehad met een van onze suppliers over de voordelen van web standards.

Een aantal zaken zijn algemeen interessant, dus stukjes uit de laatste e-mail worden hieronden weergegeven (identificerende gedeelten werden gecensureerd –anonimiteit en dergelijke). ’t Is wel in ’t Engels, want dat is de voertaal hier (sorry daarvoor).

Oh ja, en soms laat ik mij wat teveel meeslepen, maar ik ben het zo beu steeds dezelfde argumenten te moeten aanhoren.


If I read your reply correctly, we can summarize your comments on using web standards as follows:

1. Your concern for the ‘wow’ factor or ‘richness’ of the end product
2. How many of our audience use, know, or care about open standard browsers?
3. What costs are involved?

1. The ‘wow’ factor.

I would suggest that the wow factor does not depend on whether or not you are using web standards. But, if you’d like, I can provide you with a list of sites with a very high wow factor, that are CSS based and (almost!) entirely web standards compliant.
(Please have a look at for a number of such sites.)

Furthermore, if interactivity is a major issue, I would highly recommend the use of Macromedia Flash to build your applications.

The main issue about websites is not so much the wow factor (even though that’s a very nice addition), but really the goal should be ‘content first’. And that is where web standards excel.

2. The use of open standard browsers.

The point is not so much in how many users actually use these browsers, but the issue is: how many users are able to access our content. It is no longer a case of making websites to display in a particular browser, but rather to display content, full stop.

Standards separate design and content, form and function (form follows function), so that content is not dependent on design. As a result, your content will display in past *and* future browsers, with little or no adjustments.

(As an aside. On browser statistics: to quote Mr. Disrali: There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics., the source of your browser statistics now mentions Current trend is that Internet Explorer 6 is growing fast. IE 5 and 6 counts for more than 80%. That’s not growing, but diminishing from your quoted 85%.
(same source though:
Also, if content is not accessible to browsers such as Mozzilla, doesn’t it seem logical that their share of your site statistics will be smaller?)

3. The cost.

The only cost involved with adhering to standards is if you have to convert an existing site to a standards compliant site, as you would with any conversion. If a site complied to standards in the first place, there wouldn’t be any (extra) cost at all (forward compatibility).

Also, the beauty of the web standards is that they are entirely backwards compatible. This means that, as long as you take into account some basic rules, you do not have to worry about browser compatibility at all.

If you follow web standards, costs are more likely to be reduced because of:
– Faster development
– Simplified maintenance
– Accessibility
– Reduce bandwidth costs
– Improved user experience

(source: Adaptive Path)

The problem with using tables:
– mixes presentational data in with your content.
– This makes redesigns of existing sites and content extremely labor intensive (and expensive).
– It also makes it extremely hard (and expensive) to maintain visual consistency throughout a site.

(source: Why tables for layout is stupid)


4. About validation
If we run the xxx home page through the W3 validator – we see 18 errors in a page of only 92 lines.

True. Though you probably will have noticed that these errors were due to a JavaScript implementation. Unfortunately we had to use this particular JavaScript on that page/site, because of external supplier demands.

On the other hand, you will find that the homepage of does validate (and so would xxx without the JavaScript).

Validation is not the main issue, but accessibility and compatibility are. If you try to validate the Macromedia homepage for example, you will see that it fails miserably. However the site is accessible in all (major) browser versions, and its content is semantically structured.

5. More
Dive Into Accessibility

The CSS Zen Garden. On that site you will find 82 pages, all consiting of the same content, but each applying a different stylesheet. This effectively shows how little effort it requires to change the entire look and feel of a site when using web standards. I am sure you agree that several qualify for the wow factor.


Natuurlijk is er meer dan dat.