Validating Your Theme
Validating the markup of your theme is the process of ensuring that the web pages conform to web standards defined by various organizations. These standards ensure web pages are interpreted in the same way by different browsers, search engines, and other web clients.
Conforming to standards and regulations is one of many ways you can make your theme universally understood. Make sure your code and styles validate across the board. That means they have to meet the standards set by the W3C Organization and pass a variety of validations for CSS and XHTML.
Not all validators check for the same things. Some only check CSS, others XHTML, and others for accessibility. If you are sincere in presenting standardized pages to the public, test them with several validators. The World Wide Web Consortium sets the standards and also hosts a variety of web page validators.
Validation Techniques #Validation Techniques
Validating your WordPress site means more than just checking the front page for errors. A theme’s template files are loaded in a modular fashion. While you may fix all the errors associated with the
sidebar.php on your front page, errors may still exist within other template files such as
category.php. Validate pages that load each of your theme template files.
The Your WordPress section in the WordPress Forums is dedicated to helping WordPress users in getting feedback about their sites. WordPress volunteers will do that for you for free. Be sure and read the WordPress Site Reviews Guidelines.
Validation Checklist #Validation Checklist
To help you validate your WordPress site, here is a quick checklist:
- Validate your HTML / CSS / Feeds (see below)
- Validate accessibility – WCAG Guidelines, Section 508 Standards and WAI standards
- Check different browsers
- Re-validate HTML and CSS
Validate HTML #Validate HTML
- The W3C’s HTML Validation Service (URL and upload)
- W3C’s Collection of Validators
- W3C Tidy Online
- Silk Tide Online Validator for Errors and Accessibility
- Windows GUI Interface for TIDY
- Site Report Card Validator
- Valet Webthing.com
- Watson Addy’s Validator
- Alpine Internet HTML Validator
- AnyBrowser’s HTML Validation
- Cynthia Says Validator
- Doctor-HTML Validator
- HTMLvalidator.com’s Validator
- Software QA and Testing Resource Center
- HTML Tag Checker
- W3.org Tidy Validator
- HTMLHelp’s File Upload HTML Validator (upload)
- Searchengineworld’s HTML File Upload Validator (upload)
Validate CSS #Validate CSS
- W3.org’s CSS Validator (URL, upload, and direct paste in)
- Style-Sheets.com Validator (browser specific)
- W3C Style sheet validator
- WDG and HTMLhelp.com’s CSS Validator and Checker (URL, upload, and direct paste)
Validate Feeds #Validate Feeds
- Feedvalidator.org – for Atom and RSS feeds.
- Experimental RSS 1.0 Validator
- Redlands RSS 1.0 Validator
Validation Resources and Articles #Validation Resources and Articles
- Writing Code in Your Posts
- Mark Freeman’s Many Links to Validation Resources
- Understanding How HTML Validators Work
- You Call That Web Site Testing?