Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is meant by Web Quality Standards?

A: Web Quality Standards usually mean that website developers and designers are building your website to meet current standards as prescribed by the W3C. To-day's developer is moving towards the separation of content from style making it easier to maintain a site as well as make it available to more people.

The key elements are html/xhtml, css, and dtd.

html/xhtml (hypertext markup language) is the coding behind the scenes used to produce the website.

css (cascading style sheets) controls for the most part, the appearance of web pages.

dtd (document type declaration) tells the viewer's browser what coding has been used so it can display as intended (or very close). Without a document type declaration, or DTD, the browser enters into a 'quirks' mode displaying the page in a way that may not have been intended. Validation of a webpage cannot be done as the validator (the program that checks for errors) does not know what version of coding has been used.

There is also something called WAI (web assessibility initiative) that allows websites to become available to more people, namely, the disabled. In some countries it is required by law to meet these standards, Australia and the USA presently have governing laws and Europe is working on a development plan.

Q: What does Cross Browser Compatibility mean?

A: Basically, it means that all the newer browsers see the webpage close to the way the developer intended it to be seen if the coding has been carefully crafted. Not all viewers use the same browser, so it is important to code the page properly. Looking good in MSIE may not look all that great in Firefox, and vice-versa. (Another reason for the DTD.)

Q: What if a viewer is using an older browser?

A: Older browsers had very little support for CSS if any. So the answer is, no, older browsers may not see the page as it is meant to be seen by to-day's standards. Having said that, developers using xhtml/css may use an additional style sheet that allows older browsers to, at least, read the content of the page.


Q: What does load time mean?


A: Load time means the time it takes to display your webpage. Slow load time can discourage viewers from staying on your website, time is prescious, especially for busy professionals. Viewers generally stay on a page for 35 seconds, they won't wait for a slow video or other media to download. A competent developer can optimize a website for fast load times increasing the period viewers spend on the site.

NOTE: Many websites that were developed short years ago may not meet the W3C standards. While updating to xhtml/css takes longer, and may mean a little more expense, having a professional developer update the site will pay off in maintenance fees in the long run since most of the content and appearance features of the website are separated. For example, a website with 50 or so pages can usually be updated by just making a change to one page.


W3C html 5 Draft