In April 2008, the British Standards Institute has published PAS 124, a best practice approach to implementing, maintaining, and managing standards compliant websites. PAS 124 helps organizations deploy web site standards. So if you are involved with the planning or building of web sites, this document is a must read. Being one of my focus areas, website standards are part of my daily work. As a member of the review panel for PAS 124 I got my hands on the document very early, and I have been using it ever since.
Internal policies and procedures need to be established to make sure that relevant website standards are defined, implemented and maintained. For new websites some level of standards compliance is usually applied today. Finding a budget for making existing sites compliant can be challenging though. The site may not look much different afterwards.
“So what did you need all that money for?”
Don’t answer this question by just listing insider terms such as brand consistency, usability, browser compatibility, accessibility, W3C compliance, or search engine optimization. If you have read PAS 124, your answer around these terms will be much more elaborate and meaningful. The document explains what web standards are, why they are important, how they save money in the long term, and why they improve the quality of your sites to provide a better user experience.
PAS 124 is not a comprehensive technical reference for the standards themselves. Please refer to other resources if you want to learn more about website accessibility or semantic HTML.
Web standards are crucial, make sure that your web agency and internal staff are familiar with them.