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News: Why HTML5?


HTML 5 logoEven if you haven't heard of HTML5, you've probably used it without knowing it. So what is it, and why all the fuss?

What is HTML5?

HTML (or HyperText Markup Language) is the language of the internet. It is a tag based language which is interpreted by web browsers (like Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome) and used to display web pages.

Although it has taken massive strides forward from originally operating as a "text only" language, this newest incarnation introduces poper video support for the first time - something which, up until now, has been reliant entirely on third party plugins provided Adobe Flash or Apple's Quicktime. 

Why is this important?

This is important because up until now, all audio and video has required a seperate "add-ons" which are neither present or available on all devices. With the ever increasing mobilisation of the internet on mobile phones, tablets and laptops, this compatibility issue has led to embarassing "gaps" on webpages.

There are of course, other differences and upgrades in HTML5 which were not available in its precursor XHTML including better form options including email, url and date selection boxes - options which up until now have required additional scripting.

There are many other tweeks and additions which this new version of HTML has, including the removal of many previously standard tags and the increased reliance on CSS.

In short, this new version of HTML is better suited to how we use the internet in 2012 and helps us to better "future-proof" your website.

Browser Support

At the date of writing this article, HTML 5 support in browsers is still patchy and the W3C have not officially branded it as the new website standard.

If you use your computer regularly to browse the internet, you'll no doubt have noticed a lot of updates over the past few years. This is largely due to the "race" which the competing browser providers are engaged in to keep ahead with implementation of HTML 5 and the new version of CSS.

What does HTML5 mean for your website?

Although HTML5 is marching quickly towards becoming the new standard for websites today, it is unlikely that your existing website will stop working at any point in the near future.

As with past updates, although new technologies are recommended it is likely that as long as a lot of website users continue to use old browsers, support for the older coding standards are unlikely to be withdrawn any time soon.

In most cases, the roll out of HTML5 will not damage your existing website, but instead will enhance it by making it more user friendly.

How can I convert my website to HTML5?

If you've had your website set up or designed in the past 6-12 months it is likely that your developer has coded it to today's website standards. If not, we can quickly and easily test your website to see whether it is coded in HTML5 for free.

If your website was coded in XHTML Strict, then it is likely that the changes required to bring your website up to date are relatively minor.

If you do wish to have your business' website re-coded to current HTML5 standards, our prices start from just £70. Prices will vary for content managed websites using systems like Drupal, Wordpress or Joomla, depending on the complexity of your website.

Information about HTML 5 and CSS 3

If you'd like more information about HTML 5, check out the below resources. You may also be interested to find out about CSS3 which is also becoming a new standard on the internet and taking formatting to a whole new level.

BBC News: Coding the future - HTML 5 takes the world by storm

HTML5 Test - Compare Browsers

W3Schools - HTML5 Tutorial

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