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Web Design All-in-One for Dummies® by Sue Jenkins

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Chapter 2: Testing, Accessibility,
Compliance, and Validation
In This Chapter
Checking your code for errors
Testing on different platforms and browsers
Fixing common code errors
Checking (X)HTML syntax
Making pages CSS, (X)HTML, and 508 accessibility compliant
Fixing noncompliant code issues
Displaying proof of code validation
C
ongratulations on making it this far! You’re almost to the finish line, and
you only have a few more things to do before you can publish your site
for all to see. At this stage, it’s time to put all the pages on your site through
a rigorous review to catch potential problems like spelling errors, code
issues, broken links, and missing code attributes like
alt text attributes for
images and
title attributes for hyperlinks.
In this chapter, you’ll find some helpful tips and suggestions
on validation, testing, standards compliancy, and more.
Most HTML code editors have tools to assist you with
testing your pages so that you can identify and fix any
problems before visitors have a chance to see the
site. For instance, in this chapter, you find out how
to use several testing tools, including ones that
clean up code and check spelling, and I discuss a
tool to find and replace text and source code
throughout a site. In addition, you discover how to
clean up redundant and unnecessary code, apply
uniform source formatting to pages, and fix some
common coding problems such as identifying broken
links and orphans.
A few examples in this chapter use Dreamweaver. However, if
you are using another program you should be able to find many similar
tools. For details about any specific tools, be sure to consult your applica-
tion’s Help guide.
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Understanding the Process of Validating Your Code
510
Understanding the Process of Validating Your Code
When you take a patient and careful look at everything on your site, you can
usually find and fix any display and functionality issues before your pages
go online. That is not to say that the cleanup and validation process is a
breeze. On the contrary, site testing can be a demanding task at times. In
fact, it is quite common to find new coding issues at each phase of the vali-
dation and compliance testing process.
More than likely, however, what you will find is that performing the valida-
tion testing is relatively easy, and though it may take you some time to
research, retest, and fix any problems you find during the validation
process, the whole experience will enrich you and refine your skills, ulti-
mately making you a better designer for any future projects.
Validation offers many important benefits to both you and your site’s
visitors:
Validation makes a site more accessible to the widest audience, which
can translate into increased visitor traffic and potentially more sales of
products and services.
Validated Web pages display faster in a browser window.
Validated, clean code improves search engine accessibility and search
engine results rankings.
Validated pages are much easier to maintain and update.
A well-validated site can be your calling card for obtaining future
business.
To help you keep track of your progress, the validation process itself can be
performed methodically over the course of several days. This chapter walks
you through each of the steps. You begin by converting all the syntax on
every page to match the specified DTD in the code. Then, you perform
(X)HTML, CSS, and accessibility testing on every page. If you find any
errors, you spend time fixing them and then retest to ensure that you’ve
either fixed everything or that problematic code fails acceptably. After that,
you’re done. As a final optional step, you can display some kind of proof of
validation on your site to show the world that you cared enough to spend
the time doing the testing in the first place.
Performing Prelaunch Testing
Building a Web site is one of those activities that requires you to remember
a lot of little details. Besides designing the mock-up, optimizing all the
graphics, creating a template, building the individual pages, pasting in all
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