When the internet bug hit the markets all across the world, everybody needed a slice of the pie and companies started to build websites to put content online for anyone who may find use for it. And since there was no particular guideline or standard to follow, sometimes the content of a website would break or look inconsistent when viewed from different browsers. So to resolve the issues of compatibility and consistency of web content, the idea of a web standard started to become the focal point of discussions among many developer communities. And that was the beginning of the W3C standard.

What is the W3C Standard?

The World Wide Web Consortium or W3C is an international community of member organizations that articulates the web standards or guidelines, so that websites look and work consistently across different web browsers. The W3C develops guidelines, standards, and protocols to ensure the growth of the World Wide Web to its full potential.

Importance of W3C Standards

User Experience

There are two major areas that the W3C standards play a vital role in Web development. When building a website, we would expect that it works well for every internet user irrespective of the web browser they use, the geography where they use it from, the resources they need to render the website, etc. Hence, ensuring that a website is W3C compatible or validated would mean that a particular website would function as expected to all internet users across the globe using different browsers. Hence, user experience is one aspect of ensuring that a website or application is W3C compatible

SEO Compatibility

The other aspect where W3C standard plays an important role is Website Ranking and SEO. Many developers and SEO professionals believe that when a website or web app is compliant with the W3C standards, there is a higher chance that it would rank better than otherwise. And since W3C compliant websites have a standard indexing and standardized distinction in terms of style, navigation and content – it makes the web crawling easier giving a better overall SEO rating. With that said, there is also another train of thought which argues that W3C standard is quite strict and does help with the ranking, however, it is not the end all as a few validation errors is okay for long as the code is well structured and tidy for the crawling to take place easily.

W3C WebDriver Protocol

The W3C had moved the WebDriver Protocol to a recommended state a few years back. Which means that the WebDriver protocol is accepted and endorsed by the W3C. This gives a major boost to Automation Testing across different browsers. Previously browsers had different sets of protocols to perform actions on the browsers. Now that the WebDriver is the accepted standard, browsers vendors will start to conform to these standards to make it easier for the testing community. You can now perform various actions consistently across different browsers than to keep altering the code to fit the different protocols of different browsers. Previously testers used the JSON protocol to communicate with the browsers up until Selenium 4 which is now W3C compatible and a widely accepted standard. The major change is that Selenium 4 will provide support to W3C only. And since this change is only at the Wire protocol level, the WebDriver API will remain stable and constant. In fact is it expected that this change of using the new protocol will enhance the API.

pCloudy and W3C Protocol Support

pCloudy has factored in the change and extended support for both W3C and non-W3C standards. pCloudy is one of the first few testing platforms to provide support to both W3C and non-W3C protocols. And after Java-Client v7.6.0 it’s all W3C protocol that is 8.0.0 beta. So users who want to make the most of this change can accelerate their testing efforts using the latest W3C protocol on Real pCloudy Devices.

What’s more is that the WebDriver API has grown in its use outside of Selenium as well. Appium for example has added full W3C specification support from version 1.9 to allow users to accelerate app automation across real devices running android, iOS and Windows OS. Why wait? Start running your Appium and Selenium Scripts on the most stable and reliable testing platform – pCloudy. Sign Up today and get started!