Does validation really matter? I say, not necessarily. While it certainly can be advantageous, there are drawbacks that sometimes are not worth it.
When does it not matter?
When you and amateur
When i’s not impeding someone else’s internet
Does this mean all amateurs should ignore validation? Not at all. I believe there comes a time when all website owners should learn what validation is and how to do it. If a coder wants to implement valid code, more power to him. Accessibility, semantics, compatibility and standards are important to understand and promote.
However, I do not believe a personal website owner should need to spend hours perfecting an artistic layout only to find it does not validate and the desired effects cannot be (easily) achieved validly. A hobbyist does not want to spend hours working around or using “hacks” to achieve a look simply because the easiest way does not validate. Sometimes aesthetics are the focus and thus surpass validity in importance.
This is similar, in my mind, to an amateur ice skater who simply skate for fun or exercise. You would not expect her to be the best nor to have perfect form or know everything there is to know about ice skating.
She might be familiar with a triple toe loop and know how it works in theory but she may likely stick to simple tricks that are within her skill and effort level. She may also have less than perfect form when it comes to some tricks.Her love for skating may prompt her to learn the triple toe loop or improve her form in other areas but it’s not necessary to enjoy the sport for her.
However, if she wanted to compete, she would most certainly need to learn the trick and practice it often but then the purpose of her skating would change. As an amateur, as long as she sticks to her part of the ring, so as to not injure or impede others, and keeps safety in mind when it comes to form, especially if she is an example to others, she will be okay.
Furthermore, one who uses invalid code is more likely to provide invalid code to others when assisting. The use of this code can cause one to unwittingly impede someone else’s internet experience. Anyone providing code should either provide only valid code or a disclaimer which states that invalid code is provided and explain what this means. (Yes, I’ll be checking up on the code I provide to see that it validates.)
So, is valid code necessary? Not all the time. Not when it’s more hassle than it’s worth but when one does not validate, one should proceed with caution.