The days of “this site is best viewed in...” are over! We shall no longer be discriminated against for using the browser of our choice. Forget tedious template management, and be prepared to save some dollars on bandwidth! The World Wide Web Consortium have come to agreement on the new Web Standards that will allow us to code and maintain our pages with far less effort, all the while resting assured that everyone can see them as we intended.
W3C Web Standards - An Eagle's-Eye View (Page 2 of 7 )
There are a few major conclusions that were arrived at.
Standardization was clearly needed across all platforms.
HTML was insufficient to handle presentation, and therefore should only be used for layout, and layout alone.
XHTML was preferable over HTML, for the myriads of reasons I won't go into now.
CSS2 was just powerful enough to be elected our presenting agent.
A standardized scripting model was also vital.
As we examine the solution to these requirements, we'll see that the presentation and structure of the web has been effectively separated into layers, and we can manage each individually. That gives us a large number of advantages:
No more formatting hacks. No spacers, no nested or colored tables. We just assign ID's to pieces within our page, and all of the formatting can be picked up from a centrally managed style sheet.
Notice I said “a” style sheet. Not one per browser, just one, and it should be rendered (theoretically) the same regardless of our browser choice. (Firebird all the way, baby!)
I also stated that the styles are centrally managed. That means that if you want to move your logo over 10 pixels on every page, or maybe change the font in every paragraph, you modify one line of code, and your entire website picks up the modification, instantly!
The actual web pages are much smaller in file size. This should make sense, when you think of all the <table> and <font> tags cut out, not to mention the happy demise of the spacer.gif. This directly translates to faster development time, and reduced bandwidth costs. The reduced costs in turn lead to more toppings on your pizza, and of course finer liquid libations.
Now that I've entirely sold you on Web Standards, let's start using them!