Frequently Asked Questions
"What is code validation and why do I need it?"
Code validation in website design is the process of ensuring that the code that the page or site is written in follows the rules of that code. Computer languages, like human languages, have rules that are defined for each language that dictates what is and is not acceptable as good grammer and communication. For example, a <p> or opening paragraph statement must be followed by a </p> or closing paragraph statement. If we omit the closing statement, the browser may not be able to format the page into paragraphs as it cannot tell where one ends and the next begins. You might be able to understand the "spoken" paragraph. But, when browsers try reading it, it becomes much more difficult when the punctuation is poorly constructed. And, since web browsers have to "read" the pages that they crawl, this can often make understanding and formatting the page cumbersome.
"But my page looks fine with my browser. Why do I have to validate it if it looks good?"
Some web browsers are more forgiving than others. Simply put, they don't all see the same thing the same way. This is like two people who both speak English, but one is grammatically proper and the other is fluent in street slang. While they both can convey the same statement, you may not understand either of them depending on your own knowledge of the language. Validation is how we can convey the same code to multiple browsers with the least amount of interpretational error. The standards, or rules, of each language's validation are constructed to be as cross-compatible as possible for that language.
"What is a DOCTYPE and do I need that too?"
A DOCTYPE, (or DTD), is the specific set of rules that define how the browsers should interpret the language the page or site was written in. Suppose someone handed you a letter written in a language you have never seen before. While you could go get a translater to read the letter to you, it would certainly help if someone first told you what language the letter was written in. Otherwise, you might have a lot of searching to do before you could get it read. This is what the DOCTYPE does. It tells the browser which set of rules to use to interpret the page. A DOCTYPE is also required in order to get your page to validate.
"So, what do I get out of all of the validation stuff?"
1. Web Site Accessibility. Validating your code helps to point out potential errors which may inhibit search engines and people from accessing your page.
2. SEO-friendly pages. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. If your code is clean and easy to understand, it's easier for the browsers to crawl and index your pages. Validated code will also take less time for a search engine spider to crawl, as it won't have to stumble over a bunch of errors. And, SEO-friendly pages usually rank higher in search engine queries. Additionaly, code which contains errors may be omitted from the search engine's discovery regardless of whether or not the page becomes indexed.
3. Faster Load Times. Ideally, a good page will fully load within 10 seconds. If a page contains a lot of errors in the coding, the browser may have trouble accessing the page causing slower load times. This may cost you visits to the site if it takes too long to load.
4. Less Server Load. Well written code takes less time to load which, in turn, requires less from the server supplying it. If the server is bogged down with excessive load, your page and all other pages being hosted on that server will suffer from slower than necessary load times.
5. Pages are easier to modify and maintain. Validated code is easier to read, which saves time when it comes to editing and making changes.
6. Cross-Browser Compatibility. Validating your code ensures that your page(s) will be compatible with existing and future web browsers. Most all current browsers are html compliant.
7. More Traffic. Let's face it - websites are designed to attract visitors and provide products, services, and information to people. Poorly written code can result in slow load times, a loss of interest by the visiting party, and fewer return visits to your site. And, for sites that sell goods and services, this can mean decreased sales and word-of-mouth advertising.
"How much do your sites cost?"
There are no set fees for the sites that I build as each one is different. The prices that I charge are based, in part, upon the type and size of the website, custom applications, widgets, contact forms, and graphics and multimedia. Typically smaller individual websites are less expensive than larger corporate based and e-commerce sites.
"How long before my site is done?"
I build websites in my spare time and I do have a full time "day" job which is unrelated to designing. Now having said that, my time frame from start to finish usually ranges from 2 weeks to 3 months depending on the complexity and requirements of the site. This may vary somewhat and is only an approximation.
"Do you guarantee your work?"
The happiness of my clients is my goal. I have every confidence in my abilities and will stand behind my work. I will ensure that the site performs as expected and that the solution at least meets, if not exceeds, my client's requirements.
"What if I don't like the site and decide that I don't want it?"
I will make every effort to ensure your total satisfaction with the solution I have built. Once the site is completed, you will have 30 days in which I will make any changes you want to the site without charge, with the exception of a complete redesign and rebuild. Unfortunately, because this is digital and/or downloadable media, I cannot honor any refunds for completed works.
"How can I find out more?"
You can reach me via the contact page on this website.