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What Is The W3C?

What Is The W3C

Date First Published: 16th July 2022

Topic: Web Design & Development

Subtopic: Web Organisations

Article Type: Computer Terms & Definitions

Difficulty: Medium

Difficulty Level: 6/10


Learn more about what the W3C is in this article.

Stands for the World Wide Web Consortium. The W3C is an organisation responsible for developing standards, guidelines, and protocols for the World Wide Web in order to ensure the long-term growth of the web and lead it to its full potential. The W3C is made up of full-time staff, industry experts, and several member organisations that work together.

The W3C has 459 members as of 21st March 2022. The W3C was founded by Tim Berners-Lee in 1994 with headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. The aim of the W3C is to ensure that the World Wide Web works equally well for everyone, regardless of their location, technology, or disability. Accessibility guidelines ensure that the World Wide Web works for everyone, including those with visual impairments and disabilities.

W3C Standards

The standards set by the W3C relate to accessibility, usability, compatibility, and correctness of markup and scripting languages.

When a webpage complies with the standards of the W3C, it means that it:

  • Has valid HTML, CSS, XML, and JavaScript with no syntax or markup errors.
  • Meets accessibility guidelines. Website accessibility is based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the W3C.
  • Uses proper settings for character encoding.

The W3C provides online services to directly test webpages. These include:

  • Markup Validation Service – Checks the markup of HTML and XHTML documents.
  • CSS Validation Service – Checks CSS documents and HTML documents with stylesheets.
  • By complying with the web standards created by the W3C, developers can ensure that their webpages work with the latest web technologies and are useable, accessible, and free from errors.

The organisation works to ensure compatibility and agreement in the implementation of new standards amongst industry members. Different suppliers offer incompatible HTML versions, which leads to an inconsistent display of webpages. The consortium tries to convince all of those suppliers to implement a selection of basic ideas, components, and features that are chosen by the consortium.


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