Best HTML Validators

Check that Your HTML is Correct

To evaluate HTML validators I looked for the following features:

  • Validate against a defined DTD or schema
  • Validate groups of files in a batch
  • Validate HTML both online and offline
  • Display warnings as well as errors
  • Validate HTML, but also CSS, JS, Access, links, spelling, orphans, browsers, and speed
  • Price

1
W3C Validation Service

W3C Validation Service
W3C Validation Service. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

The W3C Validator scores the highest because it is a free validator that checks your document against the DTD or schema listed in the document. It also is the validator provided by the people who write the standards, so hopefully, this validator will be more accurate. It doesn't include a lot of extras, like spell checkers or link checkers, but it does provide links where you can run those tools on your site.

Score: 58%
HTML Validator Type: Online

2
Dr. Watson

I have been using Dr. Watson for almost as long as I've been doing Web design. This is a nice validator that adds other features like link and spell checking as well as speed analysis.

Score: 56%
HTML Validator Type: Online

3
HTML Validator Firefox Add-on

If you use Firefox on Windows, you can validate HTML on the fly as you visit Web pages. It doesn't do much beyond validating HTML, but it's right in your browser, so you can do it right as you visit the page.

Score: 55%
HTML Validator Type: Browser Plugin

4
WDG HTML Validator

The WDG HTML Validator is a very easy-to-use HTML validator that does nothing but check your HTML. It's a quick tool and can give you information about the pages you have live.

Score: 41%
HTML Validator Type: Online

5
HTML Power Tools

HTML Power Tools is a suite of Windows applications to help you manage your website. While you can buy the items separately, the price doesn't make sense, so I evaluated it as the suite. This tool will validate your entire site offline for you. It will check links and spelling as well as show you orphan files.

Score: 38%
HTML Validator Type: Windows

6
CSE HTML Validator Lite

CSE HTML Validator comes in three flavors. Lite is free and has the fewest features. Standard costs money and has more features. Pro costs even more and has even more features. I would recommend you try out the Lite version before you buy Standard or Pro. Make sure you like the way CSE HTML Validator works. Lite ranks highest on my list because it is free. Standard offers checking of more types of files than just HTML (JavaScript, PHP, CSS, etc). And Pro adds on batch checking.

Score: 32%
HTML Validator Type: Windows

7
CSE HTML Validator Standard

CSE HTML Validator comes in three flavors. Lite is free and has the fewest features. Standard costs money and has more features. Pro costs even more and has even more features. I would recommend you try out the Lite version before you buy Standard or Pro. Make sure you like the way CSE HTML Validator works. Lite ranks highest on my list because it is free. Standard offers checking of more types of files than just HTML (JavaScript, PHP, CSS, etc). And Pro adds on batch checking.

Score: 21%
HTML Validator Type: Windows

8
HTML Toolbox

HTML Toolbox is an online subscription service to check your site for bad HTML, bad links and more. It also will check for browser compatibility. The reason this ranks so low is that it is a subscription service. You pay from $60 per year for up to 100 pages. If you have more pages to check, you pay more. And of course, since it's an annual fee, you'll be paying every year.

Score: 17%
HTML Validator Type: Online

9
CSE HTML Validator Pro

CSE HTML Validator comes in three flavors. Lite is free and has the fewest features. Standard costs money and has more features. Pro costs even more and has even more features. I would recommend you try out the Lite version before you buy Standard or Pro. Make sure you like the way CSE HTML Validator works. Lite ranks highest on my list because it is free. Standard offers checking of more types of files than just HTML (JavaScript, PHP, CSS, etc). And Pro adds on batch checking.

Score: 6%
HTML Validator Type: Windows