I’ve been getting into the Boagworld web design podcast as of late, and have been very excited to hear this argument for the business benefit of web standards. Another plus was this commenter’s breakdown of how to handle CSS support for older vs. modern browsers.
It’s fairly easy to code your CSS so that anyone with a browser that doesn’t support CSS up to a required standard simply sees the page without CSS styling.
Yahoo came up with a 3-tier system for browser support which I think makes a lot of sense.
Firstly, there are the modern browsers such as IE6/7, Firefox and Safari which the site has to look near-perfect in.
Then there are a set of browsers that are partially supported. The site needs to look decent and be usable in these browsers, but it doesn’t have to look perfect. Odd alignment issues etc are tolerated. These browsers might include IE 5/5.5 and IE 5 Mac.
Finally, there are browsers which will have CSS turned off.
The site will look rubbish in these browsers, but will be 100% usable.