When you surf arround a lot, you’ve definitely come accros a web standards topic. It is a buzzword at the moment so it is ofter used. In a lot of articles about them you’ll find how to do things and how not to, but why should you use them on your site?
First of all, from a developer‘s point of view, it is clean. And by clean I mean, when you take a look at your code, it is understandble, you have an immediate sense of structure (this part it is the menu, that my header, this the content body,…) That sense of structure doesn’t only make it easier to create your webpage, it is also easier to maintain.
When you’re a designer, you create a design that the client likes. This design then needs to be fitted into the structure created by the developer. Since his/her site structure is clean, this will be easier to do, no messing arround with tables in tables in tables,… Just plain simple: the header looks like this it is positioned there. The same thing about the developer maintenance goes here. Your content and structure is separated from the layout, so it can be easily be adjusted or changed completely (you’ll only need to change a file or two to change the whole site’s layout).
After the develop stage of your site comes the business part or your site. When the pages are finally completed, your pages need to be put online. So there is going to be some kind of hosting company that will host those pages for you, or you have your own server and host them yourself, but in each case you’ll need to pay for an amount of bandwidth. The more a page is visited the more it will cost. Now, since your pages are smaller and easier maintainable, your cost will go down.
As a visitor of that site, you’ll want the information and you want it now. The standard compliant pages are as said before smaller and better structured which results in faster download and faster display respectively (since the processing is less). Also the pages will be viewable in a larger range of browsers so you don’t need to update to whatever the developers used and it will be more accessible. Accessible meaning for people with disabilities (whatever they may be) and accessible as in easily found in a search-engine of your choice (search-engines love standard compliant sites).
The future of that website is also more certain, since it’s not only backward compatible but also forward compatible, meaning future browsers (no doubtably more complaint) will be able to display your sites correctly, without needing to change it. Working towards the future also means implementing new technologies. Things like feeds (Atom, RSS or other), XFN and other relation defining techniques, or the ability to display it on a PDA or fridge.
So you see, it doesn’t matter in what role you have contact with them, because web standards are good for you!