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By the way i have no idea on how to correct the bad html as im useless at it! hence using Frontpage.
I validate all of my pages from html to xhtml and xml simply because in my experience its worth the aggro !
Never trust Frontpage, Nor Dreamweaver. The guys i work with swear by dreamweaver, when they finish a big page i can take it, validate it, get rid of all the crap and invalid markup. They end up with a page 20%(average) smaller in file size.
It is worth it !
[pagetutor.com ] might be a good place to start, if you don't find that useful, the site listed in my profile has a page of web reference and tutorial sites
if you go straight into learning html 4 with stylesheets then the html is VERY easy and the stylesheets can be effectively created with Top Style...generating html automatically can be disastrous, generating styles automatically is much less of a problem
the really tough skills are learning how to make the architecture of a site work effectively...that takes lost of time and effort
Validation has many advantages discussed many times in these forums. It is worthwhile for it's own benefit. But you don't need to do it for a working, highly useful site.
Frontpage and Dreamweaver are exceptionally useful products as they allow people to concentrate on content instead of mechanics. Sometimes it's more important to get readable and viewable content up and running than it is to worry about the underlying code.
we IT people, however, tend to also enjoy web sites which show good technique underneath. I know that I tend to look at code and feel better about sites which have better code. But that's me. My wife couldn't care less - she wants to read the story, find out the data or see the graphics. The code is not relevent.
Just a humble opinion.
The W3C validator does a pretty good job of providing a map to where the errors are and what they are. It may take a little bit of research to understand it all. Once it becomes clear, the information provided by the validator is priceless!
On a side note, anyone notice that the W3C validation page now has a PR10! ;)
The W3C validator does a pretty good job of providing a map to where the errors are and what they are. It may take a little bit of research to understand it all.
You mention a very good point, and one of the main reasons I really like the W3C validator: it displays the errors and provides suggestions, but still puts the ultimate responsibility to "troubleshoot" the error in the developers hand.
Yes, at times the results can seem a bit cryptic, and yes, you can spend a bit of time trying to figure out what went wrong and why, but, when you do fix the error, you will have learned much more than if the answer was simply provided without requiring you to "think" about it. As a learning tool the W3C Validator is a strict instructor.
In regards to the WYSIWYG, any probs are usually a result of deleting things in "page view" on whatever editor, truncating tags and leaving them either open...or closing without an opening tag.
A search and replace on 100 pages to remove <p> sorted 99% of probs for me :) Other than that it is mostly down to CSS if you choose to use that......because the code used on the page gets broken down to such a simple level, even FP has problems trying to mess up the code :)