While reading a blog post on Marketing Pilgrim here, I came across a writer who said he had visited a recent blog – actually, he’d clicked a link from Twitter – and read the post and left a comment. Then he, out of habit, right clicked on the page and took a look at the source code of the page only to find that he was sorely disappointed at the code. It looked like it had been done by a “drunk monkey” in 1998. I suppose that there are many old coded websites out there that rank and work well with old nasty looking code.
My thought was this: If you didn’t notice anything wrong with the page without viewing the source code, why then would it disappoint you when you did look at the source code? Whatever he saw must not have been too bad, right?
I don’t know what this writer (Joe Hall at Marketing Pilgrim) saw and it doesn’t matter. But it did get to thinking. Is there a taxonomy to HTML? Are there some codes that are better than others? Should you stay away from “primitive” code that will make you look like a drunk monkey? There are people who will tell you that coding in CSS is better than coding in tables. However, there are people who still code in tables. And their sites rank reasonably well. Does it matter?
I’d say that it really depends. The real issue is whether the old code impacts negatively your search engine optimization efforts and user experience on your website. Though, there are people who may not do business with you if you don’t code your site using the latest technology (this should be the minority of people). After all, only truly technical people will take the time to analyze a websites code.
When it comes to HTML code istelf, the latest iteration is 4.0, though 5.0 is in progress. If you are coding your own site, try to code as much as you can (or hire a professional to code for you and build your website) using the latest coding strategies, but don’t go hog wild and start using code that isn’t tested and proven.