w3c.png Ever feel like you could use some validation in life? The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)’s popular Markup Validator service won’t quite do that for you, but it will help keep your website running efficiently on different browsers, which is almost as important. The Markup Validator recently received a facelift in the form of a new user interface and a validation engine with improved accuracy and performance. The W3C Markup Validator is a free service that helps check the validity of Web documents. Simply enter the URL of your website written in a markup language such as HTML or XHTML, and the Markup Validator will check to ensure that the website programming meets the grammatical and technical specifications of a formal Standard needed to run smoothly. The validation process is an important step in ensuring the quality and consistency of a website, which will inevitably appear in a variety of browsers. Just because your page may look good on IE, doesn't mean it will display the same way in Firefox or Safari. The validation process is meant to be sure that the language standard you are using will be compatible with all browsers. Currently, the W3C Markup Validator checks the markup validity of Web documents in HTML, XHTML, SMIL, MathML, and quite a few others. Among the new features W3C has added are the automatic cleanup option using HTML Tidy and the checking of HTML fragments, along with an array of minor bug fixes. The W3C is an international consortium of companies involved with various aspects of the Internet and the Web. Founded in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee, the original architect of the World Wide Web, the W3C’s purpose is to develop open standards so that the Web evolves in a single direction as opposed to being splintered among competing factions. They published the first standard for style on the Web, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), in December of 1996 and have continued to submit CSS designs along with a number of a other standards. The consortium now has over 441 members. If you're interested in validating your website -- and, in effect, demonstrating your commitment to the W3C's cause -- visit the W3C Markup Validator site.