Validating your code can be a real shocker at times. Although we all try to write standard code, sometimes it just seem an impossible task. One of the growing needs in html today, is for that of a quality html validator (syntax checker). While searching around for my own purposes, I was surprised how few options HTML authors have for validators today.
You have your basic two choices, a high quality pricey commercial product, or the official standard freebie.
The Commercial Choice:
The quality commercial package is the CSE HTML Validator [htmlvalidator.com].
At $129 USD it is a bit steeper price tag than most of us are use to paying for software these days - but, it is the best thing going in HTML validators. Nothing compares to its features and function. From simple syntax checking to more advanced cascade error preventing tag trees, it does it all.
There is a demo version (50 validations), and a freebie lite version. Even the lite version is better than most of the competition. If you are serious about html development, you need this tool.
The Freebie Choice:
The W3C Validation service [validator.w3.org] is straight from the body endowed with creating web standards. It is also free and web based. Simply put in the url you wish to validate and let it run. Opera users have a leg up here with a simple right click and validate to validate any page in the browser.
You may also upload a file from your computer [validator.w3.org].
The biggest draw back to the W3C validator is it is unforgiving. It is not only strict, it suffers terribly from cascade errors with mismatched tags. Often you'll have to look through hundreds of errors to find the real one that will fix the whole shabang.
The biggest strength though, is that when your page does validate, you are assured that it should be viewable in all modern browsers. It will also correctly deal with the newer languages like XML.
There is also a CSS Validator at the W3C. In a nice touch, you can cut & paste, upload, or validate by url:
The main page for the W3C validator is located at:
Bobby checks your page for accessibility features: [cast.org...]
Weblint is now becoming dated. It has not been updated in ages. Still has some life left in it: [weblint.org...]
Web Design Groups Online Validator. Much in the save vein as the W3C's validator, it allows checking from online by URL and supports a wider group of character encodings:
There is also, A Real Validator [arealvalidator.com] from Liam Quinn that uses an IE front end. It is good, but lacks the power features of CSE. Shareware.
Another entry is Dave Raggetts HTML Tidy. HTML Tidy actually changes -- or tries -- the source code to the page.
The home team:
Yahoo category for validators [dir.yahoo.com].
Open Directory Project [dmoz.org] page on validators.
Anyone know of any worthwhile html checkers I have missed? Possibly for other platforms?