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Webmonkey Argues for Adherence to Web Standards to Keep Costs Down

Over on Webmonkey, Paul Boutin makes a novel argument for designing web pages to Web Standards Project standards: it's a lot cheaper to design sites this way.

Instead of trying to support multiple versions of the same pages, it's much more cost-effective to piggyback on the millions of dollars Microsoft, Netscape, Opera, and others have spent building standards-compliant browsers and just stick to using standards-compliant markup on your site.

Now we've heard everything. It's not that we are against using standardized design. But, these admonitions are mainly aimed at artsy sites who felt the need to use browser-specific features to try to impose almost typographic control over the appearance of a web page. Most web sites like CTDATA.com never had separate web pages for Netscape and Microsoft Internet Explorer, so this article doesn't really apply to us.

Our question is: why did so many site managers wait so long to follow this advice? So much of the excesses of 1999, 2000, and 2001 were about redoing the same work. Sites that had two or three versions of the same content employed a lot of people, but were obviously wasting money. Many of them are now gone from the scene. Meanwhile, sites that were designed by sane people are still around, in many cases.

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