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Page Validation - Accessibility Testing

This page has been tested and conforms to WCAG 2.0 Accessibility Guidelines
Valid HTML - Do it right - Do it once

Changes Are Coming ...

There is no doubt that the world of web development is changing fast, to the point where it will not be recognizable in a few years time. The 'browser wars' are now largely over although there is still some skirmishing in the CSS2 (Cascading Style Sheets, Level 2) arena but hopefully browser 'behavioural' differences will begin to disappear with the release and implementation of the upcoming WC3, CSS3 recommendations. We make this claim based on the fact that we are now able to produce our own web pages that 'work' and have an identical 'look and feel' in all modern web browsers that we have tested.

This means that web developers will spend less time worrying about cross-browser issues but instead, they will have to spend more time making sure that their pages validate correctly and conform to Accessibility guidelines. There are a variety of reasons why developers will be forced to address these issues and we provide the following two examples to illustrate this. Firstly, there is evidence emerging that search engines are beginning to give extra 'weighting' (preference in indices) to those pages that meet WCAG Accessibility guidelines and do not contain (too many) broken links. Secondly, in the USA, we are beginning to see successful prosecutions against public Websites that do not conform to Accessibility guidelines and this trend will almost certainly develop, in both the USA and throughout the rest of the developed world. If you are wondering about the connection we make between validation and Accessibility then you should note that web pages that do not validate to the W3C 'Strict' recommendations are unlikely to conform to any Accessibility guidelines.

Web-Wise-Wizard Pages ...

This semi-automated system of validating our pages was first developed as a site utility to speed up the validation, link checking and Accessibility profiling process of our own web pages. These chores had previously been a very time consuming and piecemeal process and the new system was so successful that we decided to publish it on the Web in case any other developers found the idea useful. To get a feel for what we are talking about you can try testing some of our pages or you can test your own pages in the section below. In the following section you will see a list of pages from the Web-Wise-Wizard site and next to each URL you should see a number in brackets (e.g. (1236)). Each digit in the number represents one of the buttons displayed below the select box, in order from left to right.

  • 1.  W3C Validate HTML (as per the 'doctype directive' at the head of each page.).
  • 2.  W3C Validate CSS (at the time of writing this validates to CSS level 2.1).
  • 3.  W3C Links Check (checks every link on a page, to both internal and external sources.).
  • 6.  Page Valet Access Report (at the time of writing this validates to WCAG2).

A small 'x' in place of a digit signifies that a particular check has not or cannot be made and a large 'X' signifies that a check has been made but there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Although not perfect, this system does provide us with a structured system that helps to keep all our pages up to date.

Test Your Own Pages ...

Type in or copy/paste a valid Web address into the input box below and then select the validation, link checking or Accessibility profiling service you want to use to test the page with. The Web address can be a page on your own Web site or a page from anywhere on the World Wide Web. You will note that there is also a 'View Page Source' button in this section and this can be used to view the source Markup of any page on the Web, always providing that you have the correct URL of the page. In many circumstances, this feature can help you to view the page source even if the page contains code to disable the 'View Source' facility on your web browser.

If you have not validated your pages before then you might be in for a shock ...

Doctype Directives ...

If you want to start validating your own web pages then the first issue you will have to address is the inclusion of a 'correct' DOCTYPE directive as the very first line of your web page. This directive tells browsers, validators, profilers and other 'machine readers', the standard that you want your web page to be interpreted by. There are many doctype directives and the issues surrounding these directives can be a minefield if you are new to the subject.

Because of this you might find it useful to use the following directives that we use on this Website. These directives are suitable for modern, general purpose, cross-browser compatible web pages that include images and scripting (JavaScript, etc.). If you are new to page validation and Accessibility profiling is not an immediate issue, then we recommend that you start by using the 'Transitional' directive for your 'non-Frameset' web pages. Once you understand the issues surrounding the use of the Transitional directive you can then move on to using the Strict directive which should be your longer term objective.

HTML 4.01 Strict

the first option for a standard web page ...


HTML 4.01 Transitional

an interim option for updating standard web pages ...

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "">

Warning:  There are several different versions of the '4.01 Transitional' directive published on the Web but the only version that works properly in all modern browsers (v5 onwards) is the version we have provided here. If you are using a different '4.01 Transitional', and you are having problems making your pages work correctly in non-Microsoft browsers, then using this DOCTYPE version will probably cure your problem.

HTML 4.01 Frameset

Because of problems of accessibility, evidenced by the inability of search engines to index framed pages, HTML frames have been depreciated. The HTML '4.01 Frameset' standard is a transitional standard which you can use if your site uses HTML Frames.

Frameset, use this directive if the page contains Framesets or Frames ...

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Frameset//EN" "">

Character Set ...

If you are going to start validating your pages, the one other item you will require in your page Markup is a META Tag declaring the character set you are using so that validation and Accessibility testers know which character set to test your pages by. I do not pretend any great expertise in this subject but we use the following META Tag declaration without any problems.

Locate META Tags in the HEAD section of your web page ...

<meta http-equiv="Content-type" content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1">

Link Directly To This Page ...

help support free information on the Internet ...

Many users prefer to link directly to individual content pages on Web-Wise-Wizard. If you would like to do this then we have provided the following HTML/CSS link script which you can copy and paste directly into your HTML editor. Alternatively, you might like to use our New Dynamic Link Generator to create a link that more fully meets your own particular requirements.

the link displayed ...

Web-Wise-Wizard - Validation/Accessibility Testing Web developers will have to spend more time making sure that their pages validate correctly and conform to Accessibility guidelines. Many countries are introducing legislation to force compliance.

select/copy the link Markup ...

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