Creating Standards-Enabled Websites

Modern websites can be viewed on a wide range of devices, including cellular telephones, tablet computing devices, televisions, and more. This range of devices includes a variety of web browsers and multiple versions of web browsers. As a result, there are many opportunities for websites to display differently when viewed with different browsers and devices.

In the past, many web developers handled such differences by detecting the browser used to view a webpage and then serving content tailored specifically for that browser. Over time, this practice has proven to be difficult to maintain, especially as different browsers release new versions that add new features and change previously supported features.

A better practice is to create standards-enabled websites, which are websites that utilize features defined by widely supported industry standards, such as HTML5, Cascading Style Sheets, LevelĀ 3 (CSS3), Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), and ECMAScript Language Specification, 5th edition. Because many modern web browsers conform to these standards, websites built using features defined by these standards are likely to display correctly when viewed with a wide range of devices and browsers.

However, it is also important to recognize that not all web browsers provide the same level of support for individual standards. In addition, the support for a given standard may vary between versions of the web browser being used. As a result, it is necessary to determine whether individual features are supported before using them.

This section shows how to create standards-enabled websites. It shows how to enable the highest level of standards support for Windows Internet Explorer, demonstrates how to choose a standards-based feature over a feature that is not widely supported, describes how to effectively detect features, and shows how to create fallback strategies that allow sites to be used by browsers that do not support the standards-based techniques.

Additional Reading

In this section

Topic Description

How to Enable Standards Support

Recent versions of Internet Explorer have improved support for a variety of established and emerging standards, such as HTML5, CSS3, SVG, and others. To display webpages that incorporate features from these and other modern standards, webpages must be displayed in standards mode.

How to Choose Standards-Based Techniques

This article shows how to choose standards-based approaches by showing how the solution to a common problem changes in order to support a standards-based solution, and how good design practices can help you create effective cross-browser solutions that favor standards-based features over proprietary features.

How to Detect Features Instead of Browsers

This article shows how to use feature detection to verify support for standards-based featured and demonstrates different ways to detection features effectively.

How to Create Effective Fallback Strategies

This article shows how to create effective strategies that allow webpages to display correctly when viewed with web browsers that do not support features defined by stable, widely supported standards.