What would the Web be if professionally built websites could be periodically checked and certified? A process that our houses or any physical building has to go through. There’s a lot more to websites than the look and feel, just like there’s more to a house than it’s look and feel. Most people aren’t aware but there are web platform standards, best practices and principles set out by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Now, if we could use that to get websites professionally certified it would be sweet!
Here are my reasons for having at least the option of getting a website officially certified:
- Assurance to clients that their website was professionally built and followed the latest standards and guidelines. Something like a report card.
- Development and design time would be fairly compensated for their thorough work. Most website companies cut corners because of time and resource limits, however some do so out of immaturity or, dare I say, ignorance.
- Developers and designers would become motivated to improve their skills and stay current.
- Websites would be more accessible if they followed the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). This should also be lawfully reinforced, in my opinion. I applaud corporations taking the first steps in all of this by requiring applicants of RFPs to meet these guidelines.
- The great website development companies would stand tall among those not up to par.
- Trendy and flashy designs lacking a good UX would be less common.
- Many more reasons…
The W3C is the source for Web standards and their involvement would be a requirement in such a certification. I don’t see how they could not be involved. They already provide the code and data validation tools and the WCAG.
Similarly, corporate software and IT Departments can be audited by third party consultants to be certified, but that is geared more towards processes and practices, which typically has safeguards, protocols, and self vigilance practices. That’s all great if you can afford the overhead but it’s just not feasible for small companies and individuals in the web industry. So what’s the solution? I’d love to chat with interested parties that would or could advocate for this.