U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

EERE Communication Standards & Guidelines

HTML Syntax

This page describes the requirements for HTML syntax on the EERE Web site. EERE has established the following HTML syntax standards to ensure that our Web sites are accessible to as many users as possible.

Creating Compliant Code

EERE HTML syntax follows XHTML 1.0 Transitional Standards. If you want to create code that is compliant with EERE's technical standards, follow these guidelines:

  • Special characters should be encoded using character entity references. See the Web Standards Project for more information.
  • All HTML document syntax must be validated by the W3C's validator.
  • Use style sheets.
  • Do not use deprecated tags, such as <font> and <center>.
  • Be sure all documents are well-formed (properly nested).
  • Lowercase all elements and attributes (e.g., tags).
  • Close all elements (<p> </p>).
  • Quote all attributes (<p class="warning">…</p>).

To learn more about XHTML coding, read the Introduction to XHTML tutorial on W3Schools.com, which includes a section on the differences between XHTML and HTML.

Browsers for your desktop computer, such as Internet Explorer and Firefox, include a great deal of extra code to deal with syntax errors. They look at invalid code and make a guess as to how it should be displayed. Mobile devices and RSS readers do not have the extra code to handle errors gracefully and may not render poorly formed code correctly or at all.