Top Children’s Hospitals: Are Their Home Pages in the Same League?

Every couple of years CHILD Magazine surveys the nation’s children’ hospitals and ranks the top 25. Well, actually they rank the top 10 and then have 15 runners up, but since Seattle Children’s (where I work) came in at #13 this year, I’m going to say they rank the top 25 – any problem with that?
Anyway, just for fun I thought it would be interesting to see whether the home pages (and by implication, the web sites) of these esteemed pediatric medical establishments were of a similar caliber in terms of the validity of their code.

I checked each of these sites using the W3C’s validator using three simple criteria – did the page have a valid doctype, were any linked style sheet(s) valid and how many HTML errors were there on the page.

The Results

CHILD Ranking Hospital Doctype? Valid CSS? No. of HTML Errors
1 Philadelphia No No 32
2 Boston No Yes 62
3 Wisconsin N/A No style sheet N/A
4 Texas No Yes 40
5 Cleveland Yes No 245
6 Atlanta No No 48
7 Denver No No 35
8 Nashville No No 102
9 Pittsburgh No No 87
10= Los Angeles Yes No 117
10= St. Louis Yes No 104
12 Kansas City No No 64
13 Seattle Yes Yes 0
14 U of Michigan CS Mott N/A No style sheet N/A
15 Salt Lake City (Primary Children’s) Yes No 109
16 New York-Presbyterian Yes Yes 46
17 Schneider Children’s NYC Yes (incorrect) Yes 121
18 Indianapolis No No 62
19 Washington DC Yes Yes 56
20 Columbus N/A No N/A
21 St. Petersburgh Yes Yes 39
22 U of Chicago Comer Yes No 0
23 Charleston Yes No 21
24 Orange County No No 74
25 Arkansas Yes No 69

N/A = No character encoding; unable to validate page.

Parting Thoughts

I dare say that most of these sites are powered by a CMS, which is a testiment to the quality of the code that most content management systems are still producing. However, 10 sites without even a doctype? That’s a pretty basic omission.
I also recognize that some of the errors are produced by unencoded URLs, which can be tricky to avoid, and so for a few sites the errors are a little overstated. However, there are also plenty of basic HTML coding mistakes such as missing tags and so on.
Some of the CSS errors were rather entertaining too, including made up elements and some horribly basic mistakes (plus plenty of typos too).
Anyway, kudos to The University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital for having a valid (almost – only one CSS error) site – it just goes to prove that it can be done.