Using Web Standards to Reduce Cost

The advantages of Web standards have been listed in this series of articles. These advantages can also reduce the cost of a project, which is what this article aims to show.


More of a legal requirement (in many countries), the cost of not having an accessible Web site can result in expensive legal proceedings[1]. Note: this is not legal advice and the author is not a lawyer!

In addition to the direct cost of legal action there is the problem of turning away potential customers of a site who use assistive technologies. Using standards (and validating pages) will help ensure a site is accessible.

Future Proofing

Whenever a new browser version is released it should remain backwards compatible with existing sites, in particular those built with Web standards. If a Web designer does not need to constantly tweak a site after creating it, less time and money are needed to maintain the site.

This is useful for both freelance contractors and programmers/designers in large companies alike. Freelancers can save costs on recurring maintenance contracts and offer more competitive prices, whilst those working in large companies can focus on the important parts of system development. Less need for exhaustive browser compliance testing means greater productivity and happier bosses.

Quality Assurance

Overlapping with Future Proofing above, Web projects using standards will save money and gain quality. Backward and forward compatibility mean once written code will not have to be tinkered with in the future. This usually happens when someone spots functionality does not work in a particular browser, or a new browser version is released, breaking some part of the project.


  1. More information available in the article ‘Ensuring People with Disabilities have Equal Access’.

About the Author

Liam McDermott is the technical bod at The Webmaster Forums. He also writes articles and loves dallying with Drupal. His business site is InterMedia.