How to Test the Validity or Authenticity of a Website

By Jennifer Moore

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has set up certain technical standards by which all websites should be validated. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of sites validate, but all sites should, because search engines need proper hypertext markup language to crawl and rank pages more efficiently. Most non-validated pages are not penalized, but those that do validate are indexed better and visited more often. W3C has placed a free tool where webmasters can go to validate their sites. Non-valid webpages mean that a site may be inaccessible to people who have disabilities and need special functional computers, or to people who use a unique type of browser.

Step 1

Open your webpage and review even the smallest of details. Look for any inconsistencies. Open the page in different web browsers and if possible on different computers. Fix any mistakes you see.

Step 2

Open your webpage's source code. Look for HTML errors and fix any incomplete code, empty spaces, etc. Save your changes.

Step 3

Go to the W3C HTML Validator website (see Resources). Place your URL address in the space where the site asks for the address. After validating your webpage, W3C will inform you of any errors you have made.

Step 4

Correct the problems and re-validate using the tool in Step 3 again.

Step 5

Validate all pages using the same method.

Tips & Warnings

  • Fixing validation errors can be time consuming, especially if you are not thoroughly experienced with XHTML and CSS.