Business case for Web standards Wiki

For most people who have learned how to use Web standards it is obvious that there are a number of business benefits associated with using Web standards to build websites.

Unfortunately it may be hard to argue for the use of Web standards, if the person on the other side of the table does not understand your arguments. It can be hard to convince business stakeholders when you don’t speak their language. I’ve been there, as I’m sure most other Web standards advocates have (though I meet much less resistance now than a few years ago).

But the next time you or I find ourselves in a discussion or meeting where we need to justify using Web standards, we can use some of the arguments that are presented on The business case for web standards Wiki.

Christian Heilmann started this Wiki to provide Web standards proponents with a repository of good arguments that we can use when we need to convince someone that using Web standards is a good idea. Christian writes a bit about the reason for starting the Wiki in The business case for web standards - call for wiki participation.

One thing in particular that I like about this is that there isn’t only room for the arguments for using Web standards. Common counterarguments are also listed, which is good since being aware of those arguments lets you prepare good replies to them in case they are used.

I think this is a very good idea. If we all try to find some time to add to the Wiki, we should be able to turn it into a great resource that will be especially useful to those of us who aren’t yet lucky enough to avoid these discussions most of the time.

Posted on June 19, 2007 in Web Standards


  1. Nice initiative, its interesting to have a print what one argue for to show a client or even project managers that need to know what we are producing and how it should be done.

    Unfortunately my hotel website clients here in Greece have no clue what i would have to argue about and I am free to do what I need to do, so i try to keep up the good work for my own sake and are inspired by Roger’s fine website her.

    I print a lot and i learn lots of new standard things.. Tack Roger.

    I also am reading many books and i like very much Andy Budd’s CSS Mastery that have helped me to get this far with Standards and XHTML, CSS.

    A Warning to old developers would be to try to adapt all new technologies and stop using TABLE layouts. I did since 1996 and was very negative to what could ever be better that TABLE’s… after one year developing websites with XHTML / CSS i am on fire to see what can be so much easier and also so easy to manage with a simple CSS change for a global problem…

    I will have a look at that Business Care of standards and maybe post some article there in my bad seriously rediculos bad English.. sorry for that…


  2. It’s a fantastic little resource, well written and in plain English. I’d encourage everyone to read and contribute where they can…business and techie types alike.

  3. Not all project managers or others are on to it.

  4. Well, nothing new to be honest. However it’s the first time I see counterarguments. Great idea, indeed!

  5. Thats a great Wiki. I had the same experience where the CEO of the last company I worked for was looking to get their intranet developed. He wanted to throw money at solutions instead of building something in house. He said ‘what happens if you get hit by a MAC truck tomorrow?’. They really are interested in the long term - and I have found that this is the hardest group to really sell to.

  6. did we forget all about the work Maccaws did?

  7. June 19, 2007 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    Michael: I’m happy you find this site useful :-).


    did we forget all about the work Maccaws did?

    Nope, not at all. But nothing has happened there in over three years. It’s good to see a new resource, with some new arguments and counter-arguments.

  8. Yeah, MACCAWS sort of stopped when WASP seemed to be making a bigger impact, just wanted to highlight the existence of the resource. I added it to the wiki in any case.

  9. Oh - we definitely need something like this (gives two thumbs up!)

    I’ve had a number of times recently when the question of ‘why do we need accessibility?’ has been raised and even when I’ve given sound reasons for why (including that it makes for better business sense too) - it has been followed up with even more intense, almost aggressive, questioning of ‘but where does it legally say we have to - where?!’ - sure, I can find the answers and information needed, eventually, but I don’t always have it easily to hand - a Wiki like this could prove to be a very useful resource indeed.

    Great idea!

  10. June 20, 2007 by drawoc nona

    @#2: I do not believe it is well-written at all. I’ve been there less than 10 minutes and have found a slew of spelling and grammatical errors, and there are far too many words used overall. These people need an editor, badly, and soon. I won’t use (or direct others to) a site where the writing is so poor, regardless of its well-meaning message.

  11. Oh, wow, good thing you wrote something about this one, as it did decline into another forgotten repository some weeks after I opened it (except for spamming of course).

    @Drawoc: You do understand that a wiki is for everyone to participate and hey, even edit when you find spelling mistakes?

  12. June 21, 2007 by drawoc nona

    @Chris: Yes, thank you, I do. So I did some edits. But the Small Business page made my head spin, and I couldn’t take it anymore. I can’t edit that; none of it makes sense :\ I don’t want my criticism of the writing to infer that I don’t think the site may be useful. I’m just SO over seeing so much poor writing on the internet, and was particularly disappointed to see such poor quality on what I do think is an important project.

  13. “I’m just SO over seeing so much poor writing….”

    Was this an intentional grammatical error by #10? (laughs) Surely, that should say: “I’m just seeing so much poor writing…”


    [Yes, I use emoticons too - and that’s diabolically wrong, but I like them!]

  14. June 22, 2007 by drawoc nona

    @#13: It’s an expression. If we are fed up with something and have had enough, we are “over” it. If we are beyond even that, we might be SO over it. That’s how I’m feeling about writing on the web at the moment, and this wiki was a particularly bad (or good?) example :)

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