7 Benefits Of Using HTML 5

HTML 5 is so hot right now … find out why HTML5 is quickly becoming the go-to technology for developers.

HTML 5, the next version of the markup language used to build web pages, is now the preferred code of choice for manufacturers such as Apple which do not support Flash technology. Showing if you ‘can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em’, even Adobe is building new development products based on the new platform. There are plenty of reasons why developers and companies alike are embracing the new code – here are just seven benefits of HTML 5.

Cleaner markup/improved code

HTML 5 enables web designers to use cleaner, neater and descriptive semantic code that allows you to easily separate meaning from style and content. Semantic HTML is a way of writing the code so that it emphasises the meaning of the encoded information over its presentation. With the new code, developers can remove most ‘div’ and ‘class’ tags and replace them with semantic HTML 5 elements.

New form elements to play with

Today, some elements in HTML 4.01 are obsolete and have been replaced by new elements in HTML 5. Some of the redundant elements include <center>, <font>, <dir> and <strike>. New elements have been introduced such as <section><article>, <header>, <footer> and <nav> tags for better structure, multimedia content, form handling and faster processing. W3Schools has published a comprehensive list of the new and improved elements.

Video and audio support

HTML 5 makes it easier for web developers to create applications which display fluid animations, stream video and play music without the use of Flash Player or other third media players or plugins. The <video> element specifies a standard way to embed a video/movie directly on a web page while the new <canvas> element allows developers to use pure Javascript to draw diagrams, graphics and dynamic animations on a web page.

Mobile applications

The world is going mobile and applications to support mobile devices need to be created. HTML5 is the web development tool of choice for developing mobile sites and apps as mobile browsers start to fully adoptthe code. Benefits include designing for smaller touch screen displays and responsive design, capability to define viewport widths and zoom settings, full screen browsing, mobile meta tags and home screen icons.

Increased accessibility

Currently certain functionality used on websites is not always available to users with disabilities, in particular people who rely on screen readers and people who cannot use a mouse. HTML5 allows screen readers to easily access content in two main ways: the HTML “elements” and ARIA. With WAI-ARIA, it defines a way to make web content and web applications more accessible to people with disabilities.

Offline caching

HTML5 introduces new methods for enabling a web site or web application to function without a network connection. The offline cache is controlled by a plain text file called a ‘manifest’. This file gives a web developer control over which files should be stored in the user’s computer so pages can still load when there is no network connectivity to still offer an albeit limited but suitable web experience to a user who is not connected to the internet.

Enhanced site speed

With site speed added as a signal to Google’s algorithms, there is increasing pressure on web developers to optimise the page load speed of websites. The benefits of HMTL 5 with its network communications and browser storage features makes pages load faster (particularly on sluggish mobile devices), makes web applications work more smoothly, and even enables browsers to read older web pages more easily.

HTML 5 is being developed to provide web developers with more functionality and power to create interactive websites while retaining more control and reducing the need for third party players and other applications built within the website. The development of the code is ongoing so it will continually to evolve and improve over the next few years. If you would like to know anymore about HTML5 and it’s impact on website design, contact us at Internet Intelligence Works.

About Keith Paulin

When not trying in vain to improve his golf handicap, Keith leads the team at iiWorks, a specialist company providing Digital Marketing Agency Services for clients ranging from small business to national and international companies.
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