• http://www.michael-martinez.com/ Michael Martinez

    There is much to be said for advocating standards-compliant code, but using one Website’s chart — and showing only an event, not a trend — doesn’t even begin to make a case.

    Your approach seems to have merit, but it lacks punch. You should be publishing far more data than this sole example in order to build a scientifically valid argument.

  • http://www.tcampbell.net T Campbell

    I have to agree with Michael– which is a shame because I really like the article’s sass.

  • http://www.seopros.org Webmaster T

    Ummm tables aren’t standards compliant? Using font tag isn’t compliant? Was for HTML 4 and HTML 5 is at best a year away. If you knew the difference between a Standard and an RFC and best practices I might take you seriously.

    It is best practices to use the techniques you mentioned it is not non standards compliant code. As the curerent standard is 4… HTML 5 is an RFC not a standard. And in the end I can use any version of HTML I want so long as the version used is indicated.

    I would also add that the gains from doing this would be miliseconds so unless you have a very, very large site there would be no change to the indexing of the site.

  • Ian Lurie

    Good point, Michael.

    Of course, if I’d published 20 graphs and charts, someone would’ve complained that I overwhelmed them with data. :)

    Such is life when you write articles.

    I’ll write a follow-up that includes all of the data I’ve collected over the years.

    Webmaster T, if you code it right when your site is 100 pages, then you won’t have to do it when it grows to 1000 pages. I can’t tell you how many webmasters have told me one year “Our site’s too small for this to matter” and then the next year said “Oh, our site’s too big, we can’t take the time to fix it now”. Do it right from the start.

  • http://www.operfumeria.com trashknob

    Great article Ian.

    After getting our ecommerce site properly coded, we saw a whopping 65% improvement in page load time.

    The funny thin is that it’s so easy to get things properly hand-coded cheaply and quickly with all the PSD to HTML/CSS service providers that out there. We’ve used Dan over at http://www.psdtohtmlcss.com with great success, for example.

  • http://www.impactmedia.co.uk/ adrianb

    Very well structured article Ian. Thank you. It just makes perfect sense to want to get a web page as well organised and streamlined as possible. Some web designers need to take a serious look at the way they ‘design’ web pages.

  • Ruth_OL

    Even if it had no effect on SEO it’s still worth doing for maintenance and accessibility reasons. Your boss wants all the text on your 1000-page site changing from grey to blue? With a separate CSS file, that takes seconds.

    Plus, with separate CSS and layout in tags, your users, including ones with physical impairments that may prevent them from using regular browsers, can display your site in a way that suits them, rather than cursing your name for making their life so difficult. Who do you think such users would be more likely to buy from, the site that tries to cater for their needs, or the one that excluded them by using sloppy code?

  • Ruth_OL

    That was supposed to be “layout in DIV tags”, but I put it in angle brackets and it got stripped out.

  • mrportman

    All decent developers are building with clean code already, so you’re kind of stating the obvious, but it is okay to deviate from standards sometimes.

    What’s your take on standards compliance for anyone building with HTML5? I think the ability to use more than one h1 element is a good thing for document structure (when used with the new header and hgroup elements, and it will validate.

    I wonder what Google’s doing in these situations.

  • http://mauricewalshe mauricewalshe

    I should mention the quote

    “Standards are great that’s why we have so many”

    Standards lead to streamlined code and better code hmm “yes right”. In a panglosian world this would be, true in reality you end up with sites that have huge numbers of included css files, multiple bloated JavaScript library’s included where 90% of the code is never used.

    In some ways an old school site with layout done in tables is much easier for some one to pick up the code and look at.

    I looked at one site that had 18 css files and 5 JavaScript ones an absolute nightmare to work out wtf was going on and as the site had been developed over time there was zero documentation – I felt bad giving it to a new developer to sort it out.

    You can get the best speedup for a lot of sites by using Photoshop on the images and don’t be fooled by the tool that firebug uses to suggest compression savings PS is much better.