Does your mobile site validate?

I have recently been developing mobi sites for some of our customers and after an immense number of hours researching, I have yet to find a South African mobi website that validates. Can someone point me in the right direction please?

Before we go any further, let’s define the term “Validation“:

1. To declare or make legally valid.
2. To mark with an indication of official sanction.
3. To establish the soundness of; corroborate.

After some time, I managed to validate the 2 mobi websites I have been busy with and to be honest, it was somewhat of a challenge. Rules and guidelines have been laid out by the W3C to ensure (or try to ensure) that websites (including mobi sites) keep to the best standards of practice. This ensures search engines can actually crawl your webpages and it maintains universal understanding between browsers and users. For more information on understanding the phrase “Validating a website” please refer to the first half of this wordpress post.

With mobile validation, your validation score is represented by a number, with the maximum being 100 at the top of the scale, and the opposite side can go into negatives. I have taken a look into some of the most well known SA mobi sites and can say that they do not score well at all, they range between -13 and 77.

Some common errors included the following:

  • Extraneous characters (whitespaces or comments),
  • The document does not validate against XHTML Basic 1.1 or MP 1.2,
  • The Table contains less than 2 tr elements,
  • Page weight errors,
  • Embedded external resources,
  • Nested tables,
  • Cache control,
  • Incorrect character encoding,
  • Incorrect Doctypes,
  • Broken links,
  • and the list goes on…

It is imperitive to source a web design/mobi design company that complies with the W3C standards. This will ultimately save you thousands in the long-run when you decide to hire a SEO company to market your site online.

For those of you that don’t know how to validate your site, visit the W3C Mobile Validator page to try yourself, but once you have pulled enough of your hair out, consider JD Consulting.

If anyone knows of any valid mobi sites, please send me the details.

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