What is W3C validation?

What is W3C validation and why is it important?

What is W3C validation?

We in the “web world” tend to use scary words and acronyms when talking about what we do and it is very possible you have heard of “W3C” or “W3C standards” or maybe even “W3C validation” and wondered what in the world a this strange jumble of letters and numbers has to do with your website! I’ll translate this from “Tech” into English for you.

 

First, let’s define who and what the W3C is. (w3c definition)

W3C stands for the World Wide Web Consortium who are the recognized standards organization for the world wide web. This organization was founded by Tim Berners-Lee and is run by a full-time staff to continue to develop and maintain web standards. These standards are then used to help guide web developers and browsers to develop code that lives up to certain standards. In a nutshell, they write the rule-book that helps to define if our code is well-written or poorly written. This is how we know if our markup (code) is awesome or not-so-awesome.

 

Ok, so what is W3C Validation? (w3c validation definition)

We have established that there is a “rule-book” to define how we write our HTML, CSS, Javascript, etc and make sure we do a good job, right? Well the programming languages we use all have their own grammar, vocabulary and syntax just like a spoken language and that means that it can be written wrong if it does not follow the rules. When we say we write “W3C valid code” or that “our websites pass W3C validation”, we are saying that the code we write and websites we build will pass W3C validation tests without errors because our syntax and “grammar” is correct. It means we wrote awesome code that was done right.

It’s all a very complicated way of saying that W3C Validation is a test that makes sure we follow the rules!

A tool is provided by the W3C to test websites and can be found this link: http://validator.w3.org. We use this tool on all of our websites to give us insight as we work on the websites and especially once we have launched them.

 

Why is it important that your site is W3C Valid?

A great question! I’m glad you asked. It’s important that your site is W3C valid to ensure the site works properly on your browser as well as the other major browsers such as Internet Explorer, FireFox, Chrome, etc. A website that contains many errors can suffer from many ill-effects.

The following are just some of those ill-effects:

  • Not displaying properly or consistently
  • Not compatible with all major browsers
  • Not displaying properly on devices of varying sizes like mobile devices
  • Ranks badly in search engines (because they can’t read the code)
  • Loads elements slowly

Additionally, websites that are coded to standards last longer and are “future-proofed” for the most part against browser updates and the like. If your code is poorly done, the chances of your website breaking as browsers and other software updates is greater than if the code validated. We believe in value for our clients and what good is a website that breaks a few months later!? When working with websites we have not built, one of the first things we do is check the W3c Validator tool to see what we are in for!

Here is an article on the W3C website “Why Validate”. Click here to take a look.

 

Wrapping it up.

Keeping in mind that a website can be coded with valid W3C markup, but still not be done well or properly in other ways, however this is generally a good test to see how well the site was coded. For example, our own website doesn’t 100% validate due to some of the features we have decided we must have for marketing purposes, but it avoids the major errors that could be damaging our user experience or search engine exposure. The real red flag is raised when there are lots and lots of errors.

Every website should meet W3C validation standards if at all possible. It is not only the “right” way to do it, but it has many lasting benefits, such extending the sites life expectancy, ensuring compatibility across browsers, increasing load-speed in many cases and much more. Hopefully this helps you understand why we think it is so important and why we test all of our websites for W3C validation before deeming a project complete.

 

We Are Rocking Clear Business Cards

So we got our absolutely awesome clear business cards and they look fantastic! I’m super excited and can’t wait to start passing these bad boys out. Standing out and being unique is critical in marketing and I can’t even begin to tell you how important a unique business card has always been to any business I have ever owned. Have a look below at the cards in all their glory.

10 Reasons You Might NOT Want To Hire Rock Paper Simple

the-world-is-coming-to-an-endWe realize that not everyone is a perfect fit for Rock Paper Simple, so we decided it was about time to sit down and figure out who they would be. After exhaustive research (and about a dozen visits to Starbucks), we think we have come up with ten very good reasons why you might not use Rock Paper Simple to build your website.

We by no means are excluding you if any of these are true for you, however we have come to terms with the fact that if one of these are you… it is very likely you will not use our services. We understand, do not fault you and will wait patiently for your circumstances to change.

  1. You are an in-law of one of our staff members.
  2. You don’t like orange and we use too much orange in our website.
  3. You have internet-phobia and the very mention of INTERNET scares the living daylights out of you.
  4. You enjoy the thought of not having an awesome website. (masochist)
  5. Your primary demographic is the cave-men of Mars and we have no experience with that demographic.
  6. You do not like to talk to friendly customer service representatives. You prefer them grumpy and rude.
  7. You prefer long wait times on hold listening to terrible music when calling your web company.
  8. You have a devious plan to ruin the economy by NOT selling anything.
  9. You are mired in quicksand and moving to dial our number would result in sinking to the gritty depths.
  10. The world is coming to an end and thus you have no need for a website… since without a world, it’s kinda pointless.

 

Ok, so we are really just having a little fun and being silly. But hey, what’s life without a little fun?

(no in-laws, economies or worlds were harmed in the making of this post, although we had an accident when testing #9… we are still looking for Chris in the quicksand)

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What is a Results-Focused Website?

So you keep hearing us use this term “results focused” websites and you are wondering what we mean? Well, I’m super glad you asked! It is one of the things that sets us apart. A results-focused website means that it is built to achieve a specific goal and it’s primary purpose is to produce results for our client. So many websites are built without direction and without purpose. We believe that every website should have a purpose; a result that it is being designed to attain. Otherwise, isn’t it just a waste of money?

You and your company work hard for your money and when you spend some of that hard earned money on marketing services or a new website… shouldn’t you expect it to bring a return? Shouldn’t you expect it to meet goals and bring in results? Well, of course the answer is yes!

Every website we build, we start with identifying what the client goals are and from that first meeting, we begin to determine exactly what features they need. We focus on lead generation elements, call to actions, concise information, searchable content, easy-to-use navigation, etc. While we are proud of our designs and how our websites look… we put alot of focus on ensuring that the website will perform.

So if your website is not generating results… or you think it could do better, give us a call at 321-241-4215 and see what we can do to help! We build results-focused websites and are proud of it.

 

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What is Responsive Design?

Responsive design is the term used to describe websites that respond to varying device and screen sizes. Sites developed in this way utilize specific style techniques, multiple stylesheets and client-side scripting methods to ensure all page element shift, resize and even disappear or appear depending on the screen size. The power of this development technique is that it allows a website to always display properly without requiring various different versions of the site. The site will look great on a smartphone, your tablet, your laptop and desktop.

The way users read and interact with content on their mobile phones, tablets and smaller displays is completely different than their standard desktops and we can see how companies have responded with mobile versions of their websites and apps that basically just duplicate their website in an easier to digest format. But these methods many times simply just provide additional costs and maintenance as well as multiple locations to ensure information is up to date and accurate.

With responsive design, we have one website, but multiple, if not infinite display possibilities based on the user’s screen resolution. Blocks of content shift, buttons change size, menus evolve into dropdowns and so much more so that the user experience is optimal no matter what device they are using.

Not only is this really awesome looking and makes your site look like you pulled out all the stops and thought of everything… but it is really quite practical since it presents the optimal viewing and navigation experience to every visitor, regardless of device or screen size. Menu too small to see on an iPhone? No worries! With responsive design we will change that menu into a dropdown… or perhaps a slide-out large-print menu. Those call to actions too small to read or tap on your Droid Razor? Not a problem at all… with a responsive website, those buttons can be stacked and displayed at a larger size. Text shifts, images shrink, columns stack.

Responsive design has trended through 2012 and continues to be a sought-after method and technique. If you are looking into a new website… think about having it developed as a responsive site.

Our website, the Rock Paper Simple website, is a great example of a responsive website. When deciding if responsive design is something you should have or include in your website, consider your needs and goals and weigh them against the benefits it brings to your website. If your visitors are likely to be visiting with their mobile devices or tablets, then it might be a good option for you. If your ideal design just doesn’t look or function right on a mobile device, then maybe responsive design is right for your website.

Like I tell all my clients, just because it’s cool and has great benefits, doesn’t mean you do it. First make sure it makes sense for your business and can help increase your bottom line… then step out and do it. If responsive design helps the readability of your site and will help your visitors digest your content better and have a better experience… and all of that leads to more leads or conversions for you… then, absolutely, your website should have responsive design!

Welcome to “Simple”!

Welcome to our new website, and more specifically… welcome to the blog on our new website!

Our company was born from the concept of “keeping it Simple” and focusing on what we are good at and the results from those efforts. You will find the same concept and focus here in our blog. We will talk about the aspects of web design, development and internet marketing that matter to YOU. We may talk about the latest news, maybe discuss responsive design or lead capture, and maybe every once in a while we will have a little fun. Something we used to say at my old marketing agency before I founded Rock Paper Simple, “branding demands personality”, will always stick with me and the companies I work with. Your clients and customers, and even my clients… they aren’t mindless automatons; they are living, breathing, human beings and they like to smile and laugh every once in a while. They like to trust and feel good around the person they are doing business with and that is where the personality comes in. Be you and don’t be afraid of who won’t like you… but go ahead and be excited about those that will like you and will do business with you.

I am very excited to launch this new website and likewise, this new blog. I look forward to many years of providing fantastic web service and educational, engaging and entertaining blog posts, videos and information. Thanks for coming by and if you have a topic you’d like us to cover in our blog, be sure to drop us a quick comment, email, tweet, phone call, snail mail… heck, even send us a message via carrier pigeon.

Here’s to you!

 

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