Is It Worth Making My Website XHTML Compliant?

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XHTML compliance brings uniformity to document structure, separating design from content.
By using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) a developer can totally separate content from design, giving more control how a page is displayed.
Still not convinced? Well, here are some real world benefits to having a XHTML compliant website.
Accessibility XHTML websites tend to be accessible, and allow disabled users to view the content.
The Disability Discrimination Act states: "From 1st October 1999 a service provider has to take reasonable steps to change a practice which makes it unreasonably difficult for disabled people to make use of its services.
" and goes on to say "..
the range of auxiliary aids or services which it might be reasonable to provide to ensure that services are accessible might include...
accessible websites.
" This effectively means anyone who has a website which is not reasonably accessible to a disabled user might be liable.
XHTML compliance pretty much takes care of this as it follows strict rules ensuring that well-authored XHTML pages are more accessible than old-school HTML pages.
Making your website easier to use by users with a range of disabilities also improves its readability to another very important part of the web - search engines.
Search Engines Writing XHTML compliant code keeps it neat and well structured, making it much easier for Search Engine spiders (computer programs run by the Search Engines that navigate through the website looking for publicly accessible resources) to properly index your websites content.
In our experience simply upgrading older websites to us XHTML tends to see an increase in search engine positions.
Speed The better code standards enforced by XHTML over HTML result in a smaller file size.
This not only reduces bandwidth usage, but also the time it takes your website to load; combining XHTML with CSS helps improve subsequent page loads.
By putting the CSS rules into a separate file means that a user needs only download the Style Sheet once, further reducing the load time of subsequent pages.
Future Proofing Coding standards are always defined to be as future proof as possible.
This not only applies to the portability of your website to new users as more and more hardware devices start becoming web enabled, but also if further development is required on your website in the future.
In conclusion XHTML compliance has many benefits.
Good web developers will automatically adhere to XHTML compliances and therefore there should be no inherent cost with demanding that your website meetings XHTML compliance.
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