Finally, a major site shifts to standards support. Check out Wired’s new look, and if you are a Web Designer, Developer, Master, Producer, Enthusiast take a look at the source code. The markup is quite beutiful, and other than the code written by ad-serving middleware is perfectly compliant with Web standards. I can’t fault them for the non-compliant code as they don’t control Doubleclick’s output.
It is hard to ensure a site remains standards compliant from day to day. If you use any middleware programs you introduce the risk of some code slipping in that is improper, and though some great tools output valid XHTML, it only takes one mistake in your templates to throw everything off.
Support of Web standards is a double-edged sword as you are building future-compatibility at the risk of losing some backward-compatibility. I do my best to write code that works for both. Utilizing PHP and other server-side technologies, I insert blocks of code tailored for certain browser/OS combinations. This adds a bit of time to the development and testing phases of the process, but I think standards compliancy a worthwhile pursuit.
Congrats Wired! I hope you will be a beacon to the other large sites.