HTML validators - professional-level tools to check HTML errors. Overview and a brief description of the most popular HTML validation services.

HTML Validators

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HTML validators are programs used to check and report on syntax errors in HTML codes.

Unclosed tags, illegal attributes, and other errors can make your Web pages garbled and ugly. Even if your favorite browser shows your pages properly, don't relax, some other browsers can render possible errors in different ways, producing unexpected results.

So it's time to validate your code. The best way to do this is to just use automatic HTML validators. Some of these are programs you download and run on your home computer, others offer a Web-based interface. Also, good HTML editors have built-in HTML validation features.

Web-based HTML validators are convenient tools, and they don't take up any space on your hard drive. However, offline validation applications are more flexible and powerful, and considerably quicker if you have a large site.

Here are a few HTML validation services, each with different strengths and specialties...

Web-based HTML validators

W3C HTML Validation Service
This the grandmamma of all online HTML validators. It parses HTML code and checks to see if it complies with the standard and with the W3C's recommendations for good HTML. This is the authoritative way to check if your code is following the standard to the letter.

HTML Tidy
This is the Web interface to HTML Tidy (which is downloadable as an offline tool - see below). It checks the code for HTML standards compliance. In addition to HTML validation, it can also create orderly indentation patterns in your HTML codes, change all of your tags to uppercase or lowercase, and even convert HTML documents to XML.

Offline HTML validators

HTML Tidy
This HTML validator is a remarkable tool when used offline. It's run from a command line. If you're using HTML-Kit (see Resources: HTML Editors), you'll probably appreciate HTML Tidy plugin.

Other related tools

PrettyPrinter
This is a little Web application that will load any page's source code and output it neatly indented and formatted for easy reading. It even numbers lines.


There's no reason not to use HTML validators, and several dozen reasons that you should. Do it today, and your website will be nicely looking under all existing (and all future) browsers.

See also...

HTML Codes
The basics of HTML codes, HTML editors.

Basic HTML Tags
Short description of basic HTML tags.

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