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Improper Validation: Social Networks

Twitter, Facebook & Pinterest widgets use invalid code causing improper validation. These widgets should be used sparingly if at all on a business web page.

Improper Validation: Why Won’t My Widgets Validate?

Social Networks |

For whatever reason developers of big social networking companies do not see the need to ensure that the code that they provide for widgets is valid. The widgets that you access when you login to your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram account usually contain JavaScript and fixed CSS code. This code can only be changed on the website of the widget provider in some cases. As a result the code offered by the developers on these sites provide improper validation in the W3C validator.

Why Is JavaScript Bad In A Widget?

JavaScript, when properly coded, can work just fine for any website and add enhancements. The problem with using JavaScript on your website lies in how your viewer accesses your site. Some people disable JavaScript, some do not have the proper software to render it or they have not updated JavaScript in their browser. Some widget creators that utilize JavaScript sometimes do not follow coding standards, therefore rendering your website with errors. These errors may make it difficult for visitors to access and view your website. Your goal if you are trying to sell a good or service is to ensure that your visitor has the best possible experience on your website so they spend more. If your viewers cannot access the site, they will leave.

What Do You Mean By Fixed CSS?

When I say “Fixed CSS“, I am referring to CSS that you cannot easily change. In the case of Facebook & Twitter you can no longer incorporate your own CSS code into your website over riding the built in CSS that the developers have put into place.

Many developers may tell you, “Well, it can be done just add !important to your CSS code!”.

.somelovelycss {font-weight:bold !important;}

Wrong, in most cases that will not work at all. So essentially you are stuck with how the widget looks, “Out Of The Box” on your website. This can present a problem if you have a site that has colors that does not correspond with the widget creators site. This is a design headache and will look bad on your website. You need to keep your visitors engaged in your business so the least little thing out of place can cause people to look elsewhere for more professional services or products. If your customer is annoyed by your site, they are likely not to return to it or make a purchase.

What Can I Do?

Its really quite simple. Do not install Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram or any other social networking widget on your website. Instead get some nice social networking buttons and code those buttons into your website with links to your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram accounts. Your visitors will thank you and improper validation will not be a headache for you.

Tell Your Friends!

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