The promise of web standards

W3C standards define an open web platform for application development. The web has the unprecedented potential to enable developers to build rich interactive experiences, that can be available on any device.

The platform continues to expand, but web users have long ago rallied around HTML as the cornerstone of the web. Many more technologies that W3C and its partners are creating extend the web and give it full strength, including CSS, SVG, WOFF, WebRTC, XML, and a growing variety of APIs.

Read more about W3C Standards

Why W3C web standards?

W3C publishes recommendations, that are considered web standards.

W3C develops technical specifications according to the W3C Process, which is designed to maximize consensus, ensure quality, earn endorsement and adoption by W3C Members and the broader community.

W3C web standards are optimized for interoperability, security, privacy, web accessibility, and internationalization.

W3C's proven web standards process is based on fairness, openness, royalty-free, we make the web work, for everyone.

Value of creating standards at W3C

Since 1994, W3C has been providing a productive environment for creating web standards that:

  • follow a consensus-based decision process;
  • cater for accessibility, privacy, security, and internationalization;
  • reflect the views of diverse industries and global stakeholders;
  • balance speed, fairness, public accountability, and quality;
  • benefit from Royalty-Free patent licensing commitments from participants;
  • are stable (and W3C ensures their persistence at the published URI);
  • benefit from wide review from groups inside and outside W3C;
  • are available at no cost;
  • are strengthened through interoperability testing;

Learn about the potential and promises of web standards.

Wide array of applications

W3C standards, technical specifications and guidelines are widely deployed on the web:

  • Rendering of web pages
  • Enabling access from any device
  • Architecture of the web
  • Linking data and services
  • Authoring tools