"If you can get along with everyone and everyone loves you, then you don't stand for much. A person who stands his ground for his principles and won't compromise his integrity is not loved by everyone."
- Larry Winget

What Does XHTML Mean?

What Does the X in XHTML Mean?

Most of us are familiar with HTML – the markup language that websites are written in. However, although it’s been around for a long time, we might not know as much about XHTML. What’s the “X” stand for? XHTML is an acronym for eXtensible Hypertext Markup Language. It has the same depth of expression offered by HTML, but it conforms to XML syntax. There are a lot of benefits to converting your old HTML page to XHTML.

There are a few versions of XHTML. The first is XHTML 1.0 Strict. This works almost the same as HTML 4.01, but XML syntax rules are enforced, resulting in greater readability, faster load timesand better search engine indexing. XHTML 1.0 Transitional uses the same syntax as Strict, but it lets you do more, too. You can use a number of extra elements and attributes, which helps people who are still using older versions of HTML (3.2 and earlier) make the change. That means you can still use the <center>, <u>, <applet> and <strike> tags.

Benefits of XHTML 1.0 Over HTML 4

Unlike HTML 4, XHTML provides a lot more accessibility. That means that even people who are disabled can view your page, sometimes using special devices. Accessible websites are actually part of the Disability Discrimination Actand now we have the ability to create it. Complying with XHTML standards makes it easy for blind or vision impaired people to read your website without a problem. However, that’s not the only thing that’s great about it.

If you convert your old page to XHTML, search engines will have an easier time finding it. Using XHTML compliant code means that your site is well structuredand spiders from your favorite search engine can index it more effectively. That improves your search rankings. In fact, just upgrading your site could give you a better position without any other changes. For many businesses, this is a significant benefit.

Since XHTML enforces better code standards, file sizes are smaller and load times are faster. If you combine your XHTML page with CSS, you’ll see even faster load time. Since a slow site turns many users off, this can allow you to keep more visitors.

When Should You Use XHTML Strict or XHTML Transitional?

Pages that are being adjusted from HTML 4.01 should use strict, since the basic content is the same. If you’re using older “presentational” elements, try using Transitional instead, to ease your way into the new language. Of course, if you’re not comfortable with all the ins and outs of coding in XHTML, talk to a professional. A skilled web developer will know what to use and when to use itand can help you make the transition smoothly, producing a lean, speedy, easy to index page that’s fully XHTML compliant.

If you’re still using a page that runs on older code, think about making the change. XHTML pages load faster and are better for users. They even allow leaner, faster browsers that don’t take up as much memory. There’s no reason to stick with an old fashioned webpage when XHTML can make things better for all of us.

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Posted by Vincent on 17 June 2008 7:08 AM in Web Development You can leave a comment, or trackback from your own site. |

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