Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why does a validation test show a warning when I know that it is fine? I know what I am doing.

Our validation tests are designed to provide general advice for the average website to follow best practices. If you know what you are doing, and you have a reason for doing things differently, by all means keep doing it. The purpose of our website is to educate developers about different aspects of creating a website so that they can learn and improve their skills.

For example, some of our tests check for backwards compatibility with legacy web browsers. If your website doesn't need to support legacy web browsers then you can safely ignore those warnings that Validbot produces. In the future, we may provide a way to silence warnings that you don't care about.

Do Validbot validation tests work for all types of websites?

No. Our tests have been tuned and optimized to provide the best advice for small to medium websites. These are websites that have only a few servers running behind the scenes.

Very large websites, like Google and Wikipedia, work differently. They have unique problems caused by their size and solutions to those large-scale problems may cause some of our tests to display warnings. This doesn't meant that they are doing things wrong.

For example, very large websites will often have hundreds or even thousands of servers and they use clever load balancing to distribute traffic efficiently around the world. This situation can sometimes cause our DNS tests to display warnings. If your website does this sort of thing, then you likely know what you are doing and can safely ignore these warnings.

Why do some of the Validbot tests say that they weren't run?

We have over 100 validation tests to run on each website audit, and sometimes it isn't possible to complete all of them. Here are a few reasons why this may happen:

  1. A prerequisite test failed. For example, if a website has no SPF record, then the test for locating that record will fail, but all subsequent tests that validate that record will be skipped.
  2. In order to run our tests, we fetch and parse the webpage and download other information, such as images and manifest files. If the tested website has software that attempts to detect and block bots, then Validbot may be unable to get the information that it needs to run some tests.
  3. Some of our tests rely on 3rd party APIs to fetch information. Occasionally, those 3rd party APIs may become temporarily unavailable. When this happens, the audits that depend on this data will not be run.