This week I have given the Warwickshire St. John Ambulance web site a major redesign. The reason for doing this was to make it easier for people to navigate around the site, and to make it fit in better with the national website.
Whilst I was doing this I also took the opportunity to redesign the website using xhtml, which is fully compliant (tested against the W3C standards), uses CSS instead of tables for the formatting and is more accessible (passing all priority 1 checkpoints and most of the priority 2 and 3 checkpoints).
The text including the title menus is scalable, and the site works in all the modern browsers.
To achieve these compliance marks has involved extra work and is certainly more difficult than just sticking it all in a table, but I think it’s well worth doing and improves the site, for all visitors, not just those with accessibility issues.
The site is also easier to maintain and it would be possible to change the look and feel by just updating a single CSS file. This may be required if the national web site changes so that I can keep the style of the web site in-line with the national pages.
I’m working on another site now which is in its initial design stage in Dreamweaver. I hope to make this xhtml strict rather than transitional, but don’t want to commit myself yet.