It seems most of the web designers in the world are adapting to web standards and many major sites are redesigning (realigning or rebooting or what ever) to comply with the web standards, but the interest of the subject here in Sri Lanka is very poor. Most of the sites, whether it government or commercial, are still stuck with the table based or totally flash based layouts. Forget about existing sites, not even the new sites follow web standards.
You don't need require High-end hardware or any sophisticated software to create web standard based designs (that's why I like it most) and you it's not rocket science to learn and most of the learning resources are free !(actually I haven't spend a cent to learn on web standards). I think there are few reasons which keep developers away from web standards, such as:
- They are still in love with their WYSIWYG editor. (Remember the first day you touched web designing with notepad ?)
- Still thinks CSS is only a way to make hover effects on hyperlinks.
- If there isn't anything rotate, scroll, flare or jump or hop in the screen they think their friends (or Boss !) may not call it cool.
- They still use IE 5 and thinks how cool it's ActiveX controls.
- They get their pay-check end of the month without much fuss !
So if belong to above category then why should you adapt to Web Standards?
- Most of the surfers still are on dialup and they have to pay for every second they are online. With web standards it's quick to render in browser and users could see your web page on the fly.
- Thanks to Sinhala and Tamil Unicode localized content is getting popular and there will be more ask for these in the coming years. By separating content from presentation you can serve one document in many ways, suiting the readers' language, culture and region etc. Read this to get a better idea
- There are people who are surfing the web through their mobile phones. Since GPRS users are paying for Kilobytes they will praise you if the site is compact and they would not like to scroll all over the site to find the navigation bar. With Web Standards you can present your same page compact and styled specifically for Mobile.
- Disabled People also have their rights to acquire information, so your site should be accessible for them too. Read this article it will explain it to you better than me
- If you are willing to earn some foreign currency to the country you should know web standards. If you like to bid for an out-sourced project knowing web standards will be a must, because as I told you earlier world is using web standards and without it they may not call you a web designer.