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Now I had used this tool before, and I can't make any sense out of the results it gives. It gives tons of errors for things that are completely appropriate. It gives an error for the <html> tag for gods sake!
It seems like these tools are very highly spoken of, but are they really useful? Much of the code that is showing as errors is working just fine in the site itself. So I am having trouble finding the problem. Thanks.
Hope this is an appropriate forum, I didn't want to continue it in the All the Web forum.
So, validators report based on standards violations, even though they may be common practice. Little by little, different non-standard code will stop working, in browsers, in getting spidered, etc.
IMO, it's worth the time to get our code to validate. It makes our sites more universally accessible, and helps move the web forsward.
The problem is that just because a web browser can render a page, doesn't mean that page is proper HTML. Web browser go out of their way to try to render something. The thing is, not all web browsers are equal. A spider is another kind of web browser. So just because one spider understands and gives your site a good rating, doesn't mean the next one will, unless you validate. A validated site means that your site conforms to the web standards. If your site does not conform to the standard, it is not a bug if the search engine doesn't handle your site correctly, for example not finding the title tag.
That said, the first thing to do is to add the line to the top of your html, before the <html> tag:
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">
If you run into other questions that come up when you try to get the rest of the document to validate, bring them back here and we will try to help.
One other tip: When you are validating, only concentrate on fixing the first problem that it reports, then revalidate. The other problems are probably caused by that first problem.