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10 Steps to Valid HTML

A few years ago, we slowly started adding ads to our main site. Proud of the work I’d done in the design and layout, I was furious when these new ads caused my carefully designed pages not to validate. I dug around the web for years trying to find out why and how to fix this, and today, I learned how.

Elliott Back’s 10 Steps to Valid HTML explains that the ads start out with an ampersand looking like this: &. The browser changes it to &. The ampersand breaks validation – so to fix it, just change it back. This can be work, but if you are determined to have valid HTML/XHTML, then a quick search and replace will fix this.

Here is an example. This is the before look of a section of some ad code:


and here is the after:


There is plenty of other good information in his article about how to overcome the most common HTML/XHTML validation errors, so make sure you bookmark this.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen


  1. Posted January 5, 2007 at 5:01 am | Permalink

    Lovely Blog!

  2. Posted November 27, 2007 at 9:42 pm | Permalink it self not valid xhtml ? blogs are xhtml or xhtml 1.1 compatible ? how to fix this ??

  3. Posted November 27, 2007 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    @linuxunix: blogs cannot fix HTML problems. You can contact the author of the Theme and ask them to update their Theme and repair the problems, and upload a new version to, if the problems and errors are serious. If they are minor, which some errors are, then there is little to be done with it.

    Personally, I wouldn’t worry about it. If you are an expert in CSS and web page design, then you would know if the errors are serious or not. On my blog, they are not. I stopped worrying about a year ago. ūüėÄ

  4. Karl
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 12:49 pm | Permalink


    I read your post over at Blog Herald. Was wondering…. if i am using an affiliate rss feed on my site, say ebay or amazon for example, is there a way i can have the “&” automatically convert to “&” in like the .htaccess or something? As you know, some of the… alot of the listings use the “&” and the validation errors are bugging me. Any advice to fix this?

    Thanks for the great blog!

  5. Posted March 28, 2008 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    @ Karl:

    There is no automatic about it. You have to manually change it or just live with the lack of validation according to validation rulers of the world. ūüėÄ I recommend you live with it if you don’t want to fuss around with it.

    And thank you.

  6. keep
    Posted March 8, 2009 at 3:40 am | Permalink

    great… thanks for the information…

    Uhm, btw i am wondering does it effect to Google PR increase or decrease??

    • Posted March 8, 2009 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      If your code isn’t valid, especially if it is broken, web crawlers may not get through the whole page or any of it. Those with properly formed HTML/XHTML using non-table based CSS designs score higher because it shows that the webmaster cares.

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