Search engines, browsers, developers, and web applications have rules they should follow. When they are not followed, things may not react in the ways expected. An important example is search engine spiders. They are expecting code that follows the rules. This is watched over and dictated by w3.org.
The need for standards is so everyone can program and function in conjunction with each other. Browsers interpret code based on the standards that are set. Search engines do the same thing. So when those standards are not followed, the unstandardized code is subjecting a site to being misinterpreted. All of the errors have differing degrees of impact on the search engines correctly seeing and indexing your content through your SEO efforts. Instead of studying what impact one particular error may have, it is better to know the correct format of the programming language to have no errors and place no barriers in the search engines’ way of displaying your most important digital asset.
The unfortunate truth is most drag-and-drop builders and those that claim to be developers are looking for their software to function. More than 99% of websites do not validate. There are many reasons for this.
One obvious one is multiple developers. When you use WordPress for example, which by itself with a clean install doesn’t validate, you use plugins to bring more capability to your site. Each of these plugins was programmed by different companies and developers. Each of these added contributors further threatens your site’s visibility to the search engines. The way we solve it with our full-service clients is we schedule and manually do all the software updates. We then recode and eliminate all the validation errors in WordPress’s core software and each of the plugins. This is part of the overall marketing/SEO plan for these clients that take their findability to be their chief concern and stay ahead of their competition.
Some validation errors when they are fixed break the website. This means the developer didn’t follow the standards when making that functionality. Some website owners enjoy specific bells and whistles to their sites. Those that had to break standards to achieve a certain function are faced with us reprogramming the function properly or suffer validation error strikes against the site. This is less frequent but does happen.
The theme being built or site programmed outside of a CSM needs to adhere to these standards. Every site/theme we build will validate. We optimize the site and images to address page speed issues as well. We challenge anyone to test their current site or even their competitor site with the validation tool. You will see errors and warnings a vast majority of the time. Many end with an error at the end that reads the validator cannot recover from the last error, which means there were more errors to follow, but the code is too broken to properly be assessed any further.
Too many people that want to shortcut their way into the digital marketing field will manage a team overseas and try to cloud the fact they are not programming the product themselves or they install a CMS like WordPress with a paid or free theme and use the management tools of the software to resemble the branding of the client. The amount of sites we have inherited from companies that ended up in this unfortunate circumstance is more than even we expected. Being a software installer doesn’t make someone a developer. Being able to find a plugin to add a specific capability to sort of emulate what the client wanted may solve a problem, but it certainly isn’t a programmer.
We build and program all of our code for a site or theme. We will extend the capabilities of a CMS with existing support, but if something needs to be changed or doesn’t exist, we do the programming to have the best, most direct solution for the need at hand. With what is mentioned above, any extension a plugin or add-on provides, we will recode any pockets of code to make sure the site and all the programming are streamlined for the site to function as directed and expected. We also follow all the standards to ensure it works across all devices and has no hindrances with communicating to the search engines.
If your site doesn’t validate, show your developer and instruct them to fix any errors and warnings. If they do not or cannot, always feel free to talk to our team of experts.
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