Before we get started it might be worth taking a brief look at the history of how HTML5 came about:
The HTML5 spec started out as “Web Applications 1.0″ and was developed in 2004 mostly by employees from Mozilla, Apple and Opera. Together they formed the “Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group” (WHATWG).
Around the same time the W3C decided to abandon development of the XHTML2 spec they’d been working on and set out to also develop the HTML5 spec.
Today the WHATWG and W3C are involved in a bit of a power struggle over who controls the future of web technologies. However, despite their differences in defining and adopting the full standard, HTML5 is here to stay with many browsers already starting to adopt it.
So with that out of the way, lets take a look at some of the benefits we get from using HTML5 in our websites today:
Before HTML5 came onto the scene it was common practice to mark-up a webpage using a million or so different
<div> tags each with their own descriptive class or id name.
HTML5 addressed this issue by introducing new elements for representing each of these different sections such as header, footer, article, section and asides.
Basically HTML5 allows us web designers to use cleaner, neater, more meaningful code.
Different technologies can take advantage of the features we’re using throughout our sites thanks to the introduction of the new HTML5 elements. They can immediately get a better understanding of the structure of a page by parsing the HTML5 elements we’re using.
HTML5 makes it easier to see which part of a page is the header, nav, footer etc. By using HTML5 elements we can increase the semantic value of a web page, which in turn will help improve our SEO.
If you’ve spent anytime at all using the internet then you’ve bound to have come across your fair share of forms – from the simple search field to the more complex and highly secure online purchasing forms.
The form seems to be one part of the HTML5 spec that keeps improving all the time, with browser vendors supporting more and more features with each release cycle they make.
Features, features & then some more features
HTML5 also introduces a wide range of new features including improvements to the way we deal with multimedia on the web, how we structure our sites, a number of APIs, better form controls, local database storage and geolocation. I’m sure time goes on we’ll get more and more people experimenting and pushing the boundaries with what is possible with HTML5.
The best things about HTML5 is that it’s not just one big thing; it is a collection of individual features and it’s here to stay. If you’d like help implementing HTML5 on a website today please contact us.