Test Your Code with the W3C Tools

Testing your web designs with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) validation tools has always been a good idea, but it’s even more important for mobile web design. Desktop web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome, are surprisingly forgiving of common errors in HTML code.

Mobile web browsers are not. That’s because mobile web browsers are much smaller applications than their desktop counterparts and lack the capacity to handle even the most common mistakes in coding.

The W3C, long revered for its work on developing and encouraging the use of standards on the web, offers the new mobileOK Checker, shown in the figure, which checks for known issues on mobile phones.

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Here’s how it works:

  1. Point your browser to http://validator.w3.org/mobile.

  2. Enter the URL of the site you want to test into the Address box on the Validate by URL tab.

  3. Click the Check button.

    The tester reviews your site, checking your code for known conflicts and errors, and then returns a report on what you need to do to clean up your site.

While you’re at it, test the markup language on your site at Markup Validation Service and then test the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) on your site at CSS Validation Service.

Your pages work better in web browsers when they're error free, and search engines like them better, too. By resolving errors before you publish a site, you help ensure site visitors have a positive experience and don’t abandon your site because of an unexpected error.

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