Web Standards

Web standards are recommendations by the W3C - - the people who created the Web - - as to how web sites should be constructed. They created these standards so that the Web would work better for everyone: from visually-impaired users to 1600 x 1200 super-computer users.

Web standards are as much about their benefits to the user as they are to developers. Standards-compliant sites are generally more accessible and require less bandwidth than non-compliant sites. That means you get a faster Internet that everyone can browse. Web standards also allow developers to deploy code faster as well as maintain it. Coupled with lower bandwidth costs and access by more users; this means less dollars invested and more dollars returned.

More information can be found on sites like the Web Standards Group and the Web Standards Project.

Content is King

Developing a site with web standards means that you can view it with any browser on any operating system. You may not see all the graphics on your old Apple Newton, but you'll be able to see the content of the site as it's marked up.

Developers Develop, Designers Design

Separation is the key. Developers and designers are different breeds of people and shouldn't be doing each others work.

With web standards, developers no longer have to worry about pushing that 1x1 space.gif around to get the table layed out as the designer wants it. The only thing developers need to worry about is straight markup code and making sure it validates according to the W3C. They no longer have to touch the design.

Designers, on the other hand, have full control over ALL design related elements on the page. Colors, layout, fonts, images, etc. All of this is handled within seperate cascading style sheets (CSS). Designers shouldn't touch the markup code.

I happened to play both developer and designer for this site. It was my first attempt and a good opportunity to develop a full (but small) web site using XHTML and CSS.

Style Switcher

Much like the CSS Zen Garden, I wanted to give other designers a chance to participate in the design of this site and show off their CSS skills.

If you're interested, start with the default CSS file or create one from scratch, then submit your CSS to BigD@rocketsauce.org.

You can get the XTHML code from any page by viewing the source. But to see what the pure markup looks like, view the site with No Style.

Choose your flavor: