Total Validator for HTML

A little help can make a big difference when you’re trying to improve on writing valid and accessible HTML— whether you are doing it for better performance or for compliance to US ADA Section 508 (or compliance to W3C Web Accessibility Guidelines). I was recently reminded of just how great of a help the Total Validator tool/service is with HTML5 validation— and I also experienced their great customer service.

First, a bit about the service from their site:

Total Validator is a free one-stop all-in-one validator comprising a HTML validator, an accessibility validator, a spelling validator, a broken links validator, and the ability to take screenshots with different browsers to see what your web pages really look like.

They add, Total Validator provides the following main features (my emphasis added):

  • A parser that validates the basic construction of your pages
  • True HTML validation against the W3C Markup Specifications or ISO/IEC definition using the published DTDs and standards: (HTML 2.0, 3.2, 4.0, 4.01, HTML5, ISO/IEC, XHTML 1.0, 1.1 and 5, XHTML Basic 1.0, 1.1, (X)HTML+RDFa, XHTML-Print)
  • An accessibility validator that validates against the W3C Web Accessibility Guidelines (1.0 and 2.0) and US Section 508 Standard
  • A broken links validator that checks each page for broken links
  • A spelling validator that spell checks the content of your pages (English, French, Italian, Spanish, German)
  • Snapshots (screenshots) of your pages in different browsers, on different platforms, at different resolutions

It is super-easy to use, especially with the Total Validator Firefox extension (Linux/Mac/Win) or Total Validator Desktop version. Here is a 1 minute demo of using Total Validator with the results for a simple page. Note that I deselected the screenshots option of Total Validator for a faster response.

Now here is a great customer service/responsiveness story about Total Validator. Last Saturday morning I modified the Pastelets utilities that I’ve been known to obsessively update. With everything debugged (thank you Firebug) and the layout looking good, I load the paged from my site and click the Total Validator TV icon in my status bar. Though everything looks fine, I get an error about an invalid link/protocol with a tag–
<img src="data:image/png;base64, …">
It didn’t seem to like use of the data: URL protocol, even though the image rendered fine in 3 browsers. I double-checked my code and everything looked good and seemed to work, so I reported an issue to Total Validator. Early Sunday morning I get an email back and the Total Validator team has fixed the issue. That was quick!

Do yourself a favor get the Total Validator Firefox extension try the free Total Validator service to help with the accessibility and validity of your web pages. It validates better than Dreamweaver CS5 and validates HTML5.

Even better, purchase a license to the Total Validator Pro Desktop version for ~$37 USD to remove some limitations on checking and add capabilities like being able to check an entire web site at once, while excluding certain areas of the site. After your initial purchase, annual renewal is about $8 USD a year.

About Tom King

Tom King has a master's degree in Instructional Design and 15 years experience developing and managing elearning materials. Tom has been active with many elearning technology specification groups, including ADL SCORM, AICC, IEEE LTSC, and others. He served as AICC Communications Chairman and workgroup leader for the PENS specification. Tom was instrumental in early implementations of LMS specifications for LAN and web-based systems as an early AICC advocate and founder of Solis, maker of Pathware (acquired by Macromedia and later transferred to IBM as LearningSpace 4). Tom continues to collaborate with colleagues from a variety of companies offering enterprise-class elearning solutions.
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