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Why You Need To Upgrade Your Old HTML Site to XHTML

By: Gail Notestine, CGAP

HTML was a great site markup language, in its time. It allowed us to use mixed- case tags. (<body> and <BODY> were the same) It permitted unclosed tags. (You could just use <p> instead of having to put </p> to close a paragraph)

But modern Internet Browsers, like IE, Google Chrome and Foxfire have difficulty reading the old HTML. Also, your site is ignored by PDAs, Smart Phones, iTouch, iPads, iPhones and any other technology the gets data from the Web.

In addition, HTML does NOT work with XML (extended mark up language). This is very important because modern browsers and mobile browsers are more attuned to data identification.

XML is a tag-based language, with many similarities to HTML. However, unlike HTML, which has a limited number of tags that don't always identify the differences in the presented information, XML allows you the freedom to design
your own tags.

In HTML, you must use the same tags to identify many different TYPES of information, such as using <h1> for a page headline and also using it for the name of a product, in your catalog. Web browsers treat the <h1> tags the same.

They do not know that one is a text page headline and the other is a product. This creates some very messy organizational problems inside your document.

XML is used to identify different pieces of information and structures the data into documents. Also, many sitemaps run off the <h1> tags and, if you have multiple <h1> tags, in your document, the sitemap will index them all.

In XML, you can create and define your own types of tags, such as <product> <title> <event> <genus>, etc.

XML makes the meaning of each block of information clearer. XML offers the use of tags that specifically describe the information between the tags.

XML allows browsers, search engine bots and mobile devices to diffentiate between types of informtion, on your site.

XHTML works with XML, HTML doesn't.

Do you want your site searched and available to everyone? Then you need to convert from HTML to XHTML.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional

Copyright 2011© David Notestine. All rights reserved.