Contributor tutorial.
By Hazel on 19:07:3003


1) You must have a DOC TYPE, I used the following:-

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "">

2) You will need to use a META CONTENT TYPE, to be entered in the  <HEAD> of your document just after the  <TITLE> tags, I have used the following:-

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1" />

3) I would recommend a good free editor to convert HTML to XHTML, NOTETAB LIGHT does this, as it is much quicker than trying to do every tag by hand. If your favorite Editor does this than that is fine. Use only Lower Case, I've only used upper case in this tutorial so you can see it better.

4) If you are using NOTETAB then be sure to take out the code it puts in the HTML tag. Just delete all that line down to <HTML> and close off the tag.

5) Go over your page and check for any mismatched and unclosed tags, you will find if you have lists you will have to close each line e.g. <li></li> and define within each the font tags e.g <li><h3>Your first item </h3></li> There will be other items to close properly too.

6) Once you have the DOC TYPE and META CONTENT TYPE and you are satisfied that your tags are OK, then in Notetab you go to MODIFY/CHANGE HTML TAGS/TO XHTML. (I don't know what it would be in other editors)   It will do it for you, it is at this point you have to do what I suggest in paragraph 4) above, that is DELETE the line of code it puts in front of the <HTML> tag.

7) Save your file as you always do (saving in IE6 can sometimes alter your code so do check this) and go to  Go to "Online Tools for fixing common HTML and XHTML issues" the bottom link in the center column or the link on the left.  From there go to the "Validate your HTML/XHTML" link.

The advantage here is you need not upload your page to your server but can select it from the "Validate by File Upload" local file.  That is from the file on your computer.  Browse for the page you want validated and click on the Validate button.  This is very useful as you don't then have to actually upload it to your server until all is correct.  (I added this to my Favorites)

8) You can also go to  to validate your page the same way.   If it passes then you have done really well and can download the little Icon to say you have passed, if it doesn't, save or print the results so that you can view them offline.   They show the errors line by line.

9) To understand what you have to fix can take a bit of time but on some errors, once the one above is fixed the ones below correct themselves.   Don't bother with the explanations (unless you are perhaps a programmer) they are not helpful, only create more confusion.  Fix your errors and try to validate again.

10) Another common problem is select boxes, all <option> tags must be closed with corresponding </option> tags.

11) Most other errors are the result of putting block line elements inside text formatting tags. an example of this is putting tables inside a <p> tag.

Gradually you will get better at understanding what you are being told by the validator error messages, I have now validated some 62 pages which is My Dog Enthusiast Site, and all of Freemax Associates and Johnny Guim Stylist Sites.
I have not included the validation logo as the colours don't go with my pages :-)

Hope this is of some help.   Happy Validating.


Valid XHTML 1.0!