Andy Budd, Cameron Adams and Johan Edland have just launched the Web Standards Awards. Each month, a group of judges will give awards to their favourite CSS sites, with the prime purpose of celebrating and encouraging the use of CSS-based design.
From speaking to Andy, I think the emphasis will be on ‘commercial’ sites rather than blogs, which is definitely a good thing. The Web design world as a whole has a lot of catching up to do, after all we still get excited when a commercial site releases with XHTML/CSS under the hood.
Take, my friend Chris for example. He has just started an Alpine Chalet business (yes this is a plug by the back door) and has a brand new Web site to go with it. And a fine site it is too with an inituitive information archecture and the kind of bold graphics and typography that one would expect for an activity holidays specialist. But under the hood we still have invalid code, table layout and even font tags. And this is hardly a lone exception: despite what we may like to think, CSS-based design has not entered the conciousness of the majority of Web designers.
With any luck, the Web Standards Awards and other efforts such as the CSS Vault will be another push in the right direction; additional pressure on the industry to change its ways.