Last month Simon Willison wrote a post about how web developers need to move beyond advocating web standards for the sake of being compliant to advocating for best practices in general (which leads to standards adoption anyway).
There are plenty of benefits of re-framing web standards in the larger context of best practice. Firstly, discussions get a lot more interesting – as I’ve just demonstrated, there are enough facets to creating effective sites to keep us talking for years to come. Secondly, wrapping web standards in the larger context of industry best practices makes them a much easier pill to swallow. “Our site doesn’t validate” is a turn-off. “Let’s follow industry best practice” is far more appealing.
The best way I have phrased this in my work is to have “code we can be proud of” on our site. If someone goes to view source on our web pages we should feel proud of the techniques we use and that we are indeed using best practices. During our last redesign that phrase seemed to stick and provides focus to our work.