The Small Business Outreach group was set up in February 2010 with the goal of reaching out to small businesses around the world, helping educate them on how to best use web standards to create successful and accessible websites. Our first project is this interview guide which will empower businesses to ask the right questions to hire qualified web professionals.

Small businesses drive our national economies and are responsible for millions of websites worldwide. Most small businesses are not aware of the technical aspects of web standards, but they do want to know what will save them money and help them run their businesses more efficiently. Too many websites are still created using outdated technologies or that only work on one web browser. If your website is like this, you’re basically turning customers away. In this age of mobile internet, tablet computers, and the wide variety of modern web browsers it’s simply bad business to build a website that doesn’t reach your users, no matter where they are.

Building websites with web standards makes your content available to everyone. Whatever the capabilities of your users—the web browser or mobile device they’re using—your audience will be able to access your content. And if your site is built on standards, it means your site is built on cost-effective and forward-compatible technologies that ensure it will work regardless of what device or means is used to access it.

This website contains 10 interview questions designed to help you gauge the skill level and overall competence of a web professional or agency when it comes to current best practices. You can browse the questions or download the guide as a PDF. There’s also a helpful glossary to explain some of the terms you may be unfamiliar with.

About WaSP

Founded in 1998, The Web Standards Project (WaSP) fights for standards that reduce the cost and complexity of development while increasing the accessibility and long-term viability of any site published on the web. We work with browser companies, authoring tool makers, and our peers to deliver the true power of standards to this medium.

The original focus of working with browser and software companies to ensure web browsers use web standards, and the tools to create websites also do, has been a success: all current web browsers support web standards today. The focus of WaSP has now shifted towards education, helping education institutions teach web standards via the InterACT project and promoting the value of web standards to small businesses via the Small Business Outreach Committee. We’ve also published our first book, InterACT With Web Standards: A Holistic Approach To Web Design.

You can find out more about WaSP and the work we do at www.webstandards.org