Before you begin debugging your responsive web design, it’s important to make sure there aren’t any frivolous errors that might take up lots of time. These types of errors can be misleading, sending you on a wild goose chase. But the W3C Validator (http://validator.w3.org) can help reign in such errors.
However, you have to be aware that the W3C Validator is not perfect. Once you know this, you can see get much benefit from it.
Things you can likely ignore in regards to your responsive web design are any errors related to meta tags. The following are common errors in code that you can likely ignore as well:
- Element style is missing required attribute scoped.
- Element link is missing required attribute property.
- & did not start a character reference. (& probably should have been escaped as &)
The usefulness of the W3C Validator comes in with it finds missing closing brackets (“>”). Or when it finds missing closing tags (“</div>”). These are especially critical as they can cause your page layout to do unexpected things.
The validator will provide a line number. It is looking at the finished page. Depending on where you are editing, you might need to view source of your page then copy and paste into an editor with line numbers. For example, if you are editing in WordPress, you can have the header and footer present. The header will count toward line numbers.
While the W3C Validator is great at identifying subtle errors that can have a big impact on your page layout, it isn’t perfect. But knowing what to watch out for can help you quickly zero in on critical errors that might be breaking your responsive web design.
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