In terms of website safety and digital safety—not to mention accessibility—there is no question that W3C compliance still matters. Even in this day and age, W3C validation continues to carry a great deal of weight. There are a number of reasons why this is the case.
If your group is a designated public sector organization, or if your organization consists of more than 50 people in Ontario, then you need to take W3C seriously. Furthermore, your website will be required to comply with Ontario Regulation 191/11, s. 14 (4) of the AODA. These are website safety measures that ensure not only your own digital safety and accessibility, but the safety/accessibility of anyone who comes into direct contact with your website.
The Value Of W3C Compliance
Here is what we understand about the requirements (please check the AODA yourself to ensure that you are meeting its requirements) in terms of why these compliance requirements matter. (Please note that these are just four reasons for W3C compliance.)
1) Compliance offers a formidable debugging tool. In terms of safety on every possible front, W3C compliance gives you the ability to utilize the validation process as a means of debugging. Styling or scripting bugs are often caused by validation errors.
2) Compliance provides a long-term view of accessibility. Beyond simple safety measures, you’re also going to want to note that compliance allows you to take a long-term view of whether or not people are going to be able to access your website tomorrow, the next day, or several weeks down the line. Just because the website works today across a variety of platforms doesn’t mean it is going to maintain optimal functionality tomorrow. The validation process protects against unforeseen errors later on.
3) Compliance diminishes maintenance requirements. In terms of digital and website safety, there is no question that good maintenance practices are always going to be essential. However, it is worth keeping in mind that by maintaining W3C standards for compliance, you’re taking a significant step towards ensuring minimal maintenance requirements. At the end of the day, working with widely accepted coding styles will give you the ability to enjoy straightforward maintenance later on.
4) Compliance emphasizes professionalism. Simply put, one of the most vital components to any brand is the establishment of professionalism. You want to put on the best, most professional face possible for your clients, your competitors, your colleagues, and everyone else. W3C compliance website standards will help you to maintain this air of professionalism.
– Nadine Spencer