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HTML Forum

W3 Validator Site
About The Validator

 9:41 pm on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

How reliable is the W3 Validator Site in terms of how it tidies up your html? Has anyone has a downside with this?

Ive just applied it to one of my pages and it reduced page errors (given by the checker function) from 96 to just 8. It also increase the loading speed of my web page at 56k by 10 seconds cutting it from 43 to 33.

I was amazed and my page looks and functions in exactly the same way but im worried that i may have overlooked something and i want to be sure that the validator is good at its job and doesnt create any unforeseen issues before i put the new html page live.

Any feedback on this would be greatly appreciated.



 9:55 pm on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

This is an excellent resource, particularly for newer doctypes. It is a bit iffy with older doctypes (particularly framesets). If the page functions correctly then have no worries about putting it live.

JAB Creations

 10:41 pm on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

The only issues I've had with the W3C validators (HTML/CSS) is whoever is working on the CSS validator has been wasting time with invalid warnings about background-color or color not both being set. It's invalid because the background-color for almost all elements by default is transparent and thus it's natural to set only the color property in for selectors in many cases.

- John


 1:31 am on Aug 15, 2009 (gmt 0)


seems like you got 8 more to go ;-)

Seriously, go for green!

John, the warnings about CSS colors and background colors are not errors ... the reason for the warning is that through the cascade it's easy to set background color and foreground color to the same value.


 8:42 am on Aug 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks for this swa66... I have now removed the last 8 errors and my page is clean or in the words of Jim Carrey: "I have exorcised the demons! This house is clear".

Im quite amazed with this site, how does it do it?

I do have one issue though, it has done some something weird to the underline on my page. Before I had underlines all my text links but now underline shows until you hovver over the link with mouse pointer.


 9:30 am on Aug 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Are you using an external style sheet (CSS)? One of those fixes may have adjusted an inline style element.

JAB Creations

 7:54 pm on Aug 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

swa66, I said they were invalid warnings. ;)

- John


 9:01 pm on Aug 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

It seemed i had cleared everything with 0 errors but I check the same page today (no changes made) and suddenly 4 new errors have appeared....


 10:25 pm on Aug 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Speaking of validators, does anybody know of sitemap.xml tool that will catch <lastmod> mistakes? Using Google Tools, if the month/date is accidentally swapped it will get through and accept the post-dated <last-mod>. It will only flag a warning if the month is invalid, i.e., the date exceeds the possible month value (17th).

[validome.com...] also allows this error - or at least what I consider to be an error. Additionally, this resource will accept invalid months and Validate.

[edited by: tedster at 1:10 am (utc) on Aug. 16, 2009]
[edit reason] make the link clickable [/edit]


 11:35 pm on Aug 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

I use W3C for (X)HTML and CSS for all new pages or major changes. If developing a new 'section' the base pages become templates so errors don't creep in very often.

A great place to run a full site validation - as a precaution (providing you have a sitemap) is:
[cgriley.com...] *
So long you aren't validating a ridiculous number of pages it is a great tool and will catch the odd missing </p> or what-have-you. Provides minimum info, so you may need to follow the W3C link which might make the error easier to find. I use a lot of includes so line numbers never come close to matching which makes finding an error a small hassle sometimes.

BTW - Any free link checkers or do I need to spend some money? The W3C Link Checker only goes 150 pages and then lists all of the pages that it didn't check. If no good free tools, what are the best tools to consider putting my money into?

BTW - When you get comfortable validating (X)HTML and CSS - go for accessibility. Lots of tools available depending upon how much you want to learn and how accommodating you want to be.

* moderator note: we normally don't allow links to tools on
non-authority websites (see Charter [webmasterworld.com]). But in this case, the
tool is very useful and we're making a one-time exception.

[edited by: tedster at 3:12 am (utc) on Aug. 16, 2009]


 1:06 am on Aug 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Any free link checkers

Xenu Link Sleuth


 1:23 am on Aug 16, 2009 (gmt 0)


I've got Xenu and use it as needed. It's excellent. Guess I was 'stuck' in thinking about W3C and noting the limitation to that feature. Been writing all day, so evidently it is time to call it a day.

Guess it is just the habit of often asking follow-up questions even as I am answering the originals - expanding the conversation.

Xenu is great.

When I'm between project builds it's easy to forget some of the tools. Once a site goes up, it is pretty much bullet proof and I confess to following up sporadically, except for major additions. Once one gets in the habit of validating code it gets hard to write code that doesn't validate. I am mostly catching typ0s. Same with links. The project is so well tested as it is built, the checks don't find much.

Accessibility is the one area where I have to 'make choices'. Even after using various tools and validators, this area comes down to the manual checks and choices.


 2:59 am on Aug 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Xenu is great.

Great for validating a new site, not so great at validating links in an aged site.

Xenu has no clue if:
- The page as been hacked with links injected in it
- Changed hands to domain parks or worse
- Has fallen into a bad neighborhood
- The page is infected with malware

I've seen sites actively penalized in Google for outbound links Xenu thinks are OK which weren't whatsoever.


 2:32 pm on Aug 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

In the list of validators, I kinda like the multipage validator at [validator.ca...] a lot for checking a small site (max 200 pages) and get every page of it validated in one effort.

During development I typically use the tools/validate links of the web developer toolbar add-on of firefox.


 9:14 am on Aug 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

I probably didnt explain properly at the beginning. Has anyone had any major problem with the "HTML Tidy" function where it fixes your code for you?


 1:01 pm on Aug 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Just tried it, 20 messages came from the deconstruction of a single Amazon affiliate link.

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