Search engines love to crawl semantic mark-up

Imagine search engine spider's behaviour as like someone reading through the pages of a word document. A well-structured, validated xhtml page should be laid out with logical, ordered headings and paragraphs that describes the content to the 'reader', and therefore helps it to understand the information.

Conversely, imagine that due to invalid markup a misplaced tag tells the spider that a paragraph ends half-way through the content, or perhaps you may have by used a tag that is not part of the specified language of the document, thus the spider might not understand the context. Worse still, imagine you failed to correctly close a tag - this could mean that this portion of text gets skipped until the robot finds a closing tag. Validation helps to prevent all this from occurring.

Your website will be forward-compatible

Code standards are always defined taking anticipated developments into account, so by definition valid code will ensure your website's future is in safe hands. By taking shortcuts or 'hacks' that you know work for existing browsers (or other user-agents), you are running the risk that these same shortcuts may not work in later versions of the same device. In extreme circumstances you may need to re-write pages - or your entire website - to fix something that with a bit of forethought could have been easily avoided.

Validation and accessibility

Another positive from valid XHTML markup is that it will automatically pass some of the checkpoints that are covered in the 'Single A' level of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Validating for presentation

Using a pure CSS-based layout allows you to create semantically structured XHTML pages. Table tags should only be used when presenting data. As the <p> and </p> tags describe the opening and closing of a paragraph, so a table data tag (<td>) should be used to indicate a section of tabular data.

Valid CSS and XHTML tend to work pretty well together, and helps you in achieving complex layouts without having to resort to <table> tags. There are known inconsistencies between browsers for rendering CSS-driven pages, but validating your code could help eliminate many of these problems. If you are still having presentational issues, do try to avoid code 'hacks' for the same forward-compatibility reasons outlined earlier.

Achieving validity

There are quite a few tools available to make the process of validation easier. The one that i'd recommend: W3C Validation

We code 100% valid HTML, XHTML, CSS, HTML5

We always code clients sites to be 100% valid. Go ahead and check our site now. At the bottom of our site in the right corner you will see our validation links, give it a try and see if we pass.

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We won the Silver Communicator Award in 2010 for the work we did on the online MMORPG game frontlinemassacre.com.

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