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Monday, December 27, 2010 is Now W3 Validated. What?? Website is Now W3 "Validated"  

Ok, so what does this little icon mean?

I'm sure everyone out there has visited a website and things were "out of place" or flat-out broken. Some sites even say Best Viewed in .... whatever browser. Well, the internet (believe it or not) has standards that website developers are advised to follow so we don't all bump into these problems. While being snowed in, I had something to keep me busy....

Some of you know that, besides being an artist (and teacher), I'm also a website developer. In addition to developing my own artist site at and my new Free Greeting Card site at, I also have one for my website development consulting at  I've also built many websites for businesses, including the Community Arts Cafe, the Gallery of the Arts, my arts organization the Cosmic Cow Society, restaurants including Fabian's in Winston-Salem, small businesses such as Brookstown Music and my girlfriend Therese's hair stylist site, and a number of art-related sites: Martin Tucker Photography, Sharon Kuhn's StudioTies website, and others. 

So, over the last week, I undertook the task of making some of my sites "compliant." That challenge is easier said than done, since only about FOUR PERCENT of all websites out there "Pass" (See for yourself HERE).   Only a very few popular sites you may use actually pass the test, including the Opera and Firefox websites, Wikipedia, and Some well-known sites fail miserably: with over 400 errors, Yahoo and Youtube with over 100 errors, and the ever-wonderful Facebook with a dozen. Of a few hundred thousand tested by one group, even websites produced by Dreamweaver and FrontPage are almost never compliant (3% and less than 1%). These "errors" don't necessarily mean that the websites are bad or don't work, or that passing the standard alone make it a good website. Passing the validation test DOES mean that the behind-the-scenes code will ensure that all recent browsers (and even older) can view the web pages accurately.

I like to think that you can make a user-friendly, attractive, functional website and still follow the "rules." During my website "fixing" validation process, I used every available popular browser (IE, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Sarafi) to make sure that my sites look the same in each. This task was not easy. Some functions, in particular, do not follow the standards well, including Facebook and video integration, but I found ways to make my pages compliant. 

In the end, I was able to validate ALL 15 pages of (including the online image gallery), all the pages of, and the entire site.

Was it worth it? It was to ME. :-)


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