You may be asking yourself what this HTML5 is all about and why you were unaware that there was even a HTML 1-4. Or you may not even know what HTML or CSS is, and this is already too confusing. Considering all possibilities, I’ll start with the basics.
HTML is the underlying structure of all websites. It is the code that your browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc) must interpret and decide how to show you a web page.
CSS aka Cascading Style Sheets is the set of “rules” applied to HTML code. So when you see some text on a page that is red or a box of text with a background or border, this is most likely some rules applied to the code telling the browser how to style those various elements on a page. Easy, no?
So why is HTML5 so important?
Well, for starters, there has been a huge backing behind HTML5 from major companies such as Apple, Google, and even Microsoft has jumped on board with IE9. Pushing towards a single standard means big things in the web-world, especially when HTML hasn’t seen much modification since 1997. This is a huge leap from a technology standpoint.
Among the new additions are a few that grab most developer’s attention. Better mobile compatibility, embedding media without a plugin, and new coding elements just to name a few.
Similarly, CSS3 is being used side-by-side with HTML5. CSS3 includes new rules which can be applied to elements such as rounded corners and drop shadows, all without having to use graphics. CSS3 can also apply a different set of rules depending on what size screen is viewing a page using newfangled things called media queries. Do you need to display 3 columns of content on a desktop HD screen, but want to stack those columns vertically on a mobile phone? Not a problem, CSS3 can handle it.
What does this mean for me?
If you aren’t concerned about what goes on behind the scenes and just want your browser to show you websites, you’re in luck. With most modern, up-to-date browsers supporting HTML5 and CSS3, you will be greeted with a much more standard and streamlined experience. Whether you are browsing on your desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone, HTML5 will cause much fewer headaches caused by installing plugins, non-standard content and incompatible websites.
Have a blog or a website with updates or news? Updating your HTML code to support new code elements such as <section> <article> and <header> you will largely improve your SEO when search engines like Google and Bing can understand your site’s structure that much more.
Are you in charge of a website for a business? Making sure you or your programmers/designers take advantage of the new features in HTML5 and CSS3 will further ensure your website is ahead of the pack when it comes to compatibility with various devices, increase your visibility to search engines with SEO improvements, and will make certain your customers can access your content anytime, anywhere without any hassles.
So that’s all, huh?
I know it’s a lot to take in, but in the long-run just knowing that new things are on the horizon is a step in the right direction. Designing for the web isn’t easy, but HTML5 and CSS3 are making things much easier, and in the end all of us will benefit from it.
If you want to know more about HTML5 and CSS3 and see what they can really do, check out some of the links below.