"80% of websites are in breach of the law. Is yours one of them?"

Web Standards Design

At Etre, we're religious about web standards design and accessibility. But we're practical not purist. We won't confuse you with XHTML, CSS, Transitional DTDs and the like (unless you really want us to!). We'll simply develop a design that looks and works perfectly in all the browsers you need it to.

The Benefits

Improved Page Load Times

Spaghetti code, nested tables and outdated markup can triple the bandwidth required for even the simplest of websites. This means that users are forced to wait longer for your pages to load - increasing the chance that they'll bailout before they've even seen your logo.

Improved Bandwidth Usage

Operating costs are inflated as you pay your hosting company to serve one meaty 60K page, when they could be serving three streamlined 20K pages instead. Hard numbers are hard to come by, but in general if a site reduces its page weight by 35%, it reduces its bandwidth costs by the same amount. An organisation spending 80,000 a year would save 28,000 a year.


Do you create a new version of your site every time a new browser or device is released? Designing and building with web standards lowers production and maintenance costs. Make design changes in hours, not weeks.

Forwards Compatibility

When designed and built the right way, any document that is published on the web can work across multiple browsers, platforms and devices.

Backwards Compatibility

Because standards are inclusive by nature, standards-based design accommodates people who use older browsers and devices. Even those that are yet to be built or even imagined!


Comply with accessibility laws and guidelines without sacrificing beauty, performance and sophistication.

Support for Non-Traditional Devices

Adhering to standards allows organizations to accommodate a variety of non-traditional browsing devices - from PDAs and mobile phones to Web TV and Videogame Consoles to Braille and Screen-readers.

Repurpose Documents

Separating style from structure and behaviour facilitates the repurposing of web documents. Need that HTML file in PDF, CSV or Text format? No problem.

What We Do


We'll begin by auditing your existing website against the Web Standards (W3C) guidelines. This tells us exactly what needs to be done. We'll also work with you to understand business objectives, common user tasks, and technical constraints. This ensures that our page designs can be implemented with maximum impact.

Design and Implementation

First we design and build your page templates. Then, we test them across all mainstream browsers and platforms: Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, AOL, Opera, Safari and Mozilla - on both Mac and PC. We also test with popular assistive technologies including text-only browsers like Lynx and screen-readers like JAWS and IBM Homepage Reader. This ensures maximum standards compliance and proves that our new designs will work in whatever environment you need them too. When complete, we'll work with your tech team to get them integrated.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I do this?

Before you buy new servers / pay for more bandwidth. If your pages are large in size, you could probably save a ton of bandwidth by designing for standards-compliance. We recently reduced a Financial Services site to 1/8 of its original size!

If you are spending money every time a new browser version is released. Is your site "best viewed in Internet Explorer?" Are you maintaining multiple versions of your site to cope with the needs of different browsers? It's time you upgraded. A standards-compliant design will look good in all future browsers, on Mac or PC.

If changing the colours and fonts used across your site would mean updating every page. Web standards design involves centralising design control. Fonts, colours and layout devices are specified in one place only. This means that one change affects every page in the site. No more search and replace.

If your pages take more than 8 seconds to load. Slow response times are the most common complaint of Internet users. After waiting past a certain attention threshold, users bailout to look for a faster site. This threshold is around 8 seconds. Web standards design can often halve the size of webpages, meaning faster loading times.

But will my site still work in older browsers?

We can create an accessible design that works with any browser - old or new. We'll work with you to understand who's using your site and then select the correct tools for the job.

I can't afford a large redesign just yet, are there any tweaks I can make to tie me over?

We advocate that pages are laid out with Cascading Stylesheets (CSS) instead of HTML tables wherever possible. But we can patch-up your table-based designs to meet basic levels of standards-compliance and accessibility - until you're ready for a wider redesign.

Aren't these cutting-edge techniques? Sounds risky to me

There's really nothing to be scared of. The tried and tested techniques of old had their place when standards were in their infancy and poorly-supported by mainstream browsers. But those days are gone now. Now that modern browsers are solid enough we can safely discard outdated methods, work smarter, and satisfy more users.

Interested? Contact Us

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