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3.2 Tools and Utilities
»validator.w3.org/ is the standard HTML validator. You can give it HTML or XHTML source or have it read your pages directly from your web site. It's an invaluable tool.
You can link to it from your page like this:
When you click on the Valid HTML link the validator will run on the referer, in this case your page.
<a href="http://validator.w3.org/check/referer">Valid HTML</a>
If you see lots of errors on your page, try fixing them one at a time, starting with the first one reported. Most of the time a syntax error one place will look like two (or more) errors.
You must have a DOCTYPE as the first non blank line on each page in order to have valid HTML/XHTML. If you are just starting out, and you aren't sure what DOCTYPE to use, try using HTML 4.01 Transitional, the DOCTYPE sure to be standards compliant, yet allowing for the widest interpretation of the rules.
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"
Once your pages are valid HTML/XHTML, they have a great chance of being seen by everyone visiting your site.
If you are troubleshooting a problem with the CSS code, it's always a good first troubleshooting step to revalidate the style sheet.
The W3C maintains a CSS Validation Service at »jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/
You can place a link to this service on your site. This allows you to validate your CSS with one click! Just use »jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/vali ··· alidator and add ?uri=your-css-source. Like this: CSS 2.0.
Using a CSS Validation Service is only half the story. You should also validate your HTML and XHTML by using a Markup Validation Service. Use both to ensure your site is coded properly and will be presented well to all user agents.
There are a number of free editors that people use. In the end, it boils down to personal preference as to which is "best".
Please check the licensing for each piece of software. While some of what is listed is wide-open, some is free for personal use only.
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