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<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
To that point, do we even have to have a doctype declaration?
[edited by: Propools at 9:14 pm (utc) on Dec. 8, 2008]
Most people use the HTML4.01 strict or transitional doctypes, see choosing the best doctype for your site [webmasterworld.com]. Bear in mind your tables-based design may break if you use a full doctype, as it will switch browsers into standards mode.
Doctype has no effect on SEO. Doctype declarations do two things:
1. Switch the browser into quirks mode or standards mode.
2. Provide a HTML definition to validate against for code validators.
You don't have to have a doctype. If you're not using CSS or validation, you could just remove it completely.
If/When you switch to a CSS-based design, switch to a standards-mode triggering doctype. If you're feeling iconoclastic you could use the new HTML5 doctype, which also triggers standards mode:
what's Your DocType?
If you require iFrames or other elements not supported by a selected doctype, 4.01 transitional.
If you require frames, one of the frameset types.
If, and only if, you are using extensible tags or other features available to XHTML, a transitional or strict XHTML doctype. There's no sense in using XHTML if your documents are plain HTML or your server outputs text/html content-types. It's like saying, "My document is XHTML" when in reality there's no XHTML, it's HTML.
Having said that, then would they lessen the "score" the site gets for having improperly documented doctype's? That's a metaphorical question for my own internal thinking.
But should anyone want to respond........Hint, Hint, Hint Google, Yahoo, Live that would be nice.
Also, Propools, I was taken aback simply by a question from a Full Member asking a very basic, newbie-like question like this.
I had imagined they were teaching about doctypes in grade school by now. That it was general knowledge.
What end of the business are you usually involved with? Strictly server-side? Database, or what?
Just curious about who knows what and why, skillsets and all.