If you have been living under a rock for the past few years and you have never heard of the term HTML5, then here‘s a brief description:
‘Hypertext Markup Language revision 5 (HTML5) is markup language for the structure and presentation of World Wide Web contents.’
In plain English, this means HTML5 makes websites and online applications more fluid, presentable and improves the user experience.
HTML5 is already supported by the latest web browsers on a range of devices from your laptop to your handheld devices, and last year over one billion HTML5 capable smartphones were sold. That’s a lot of your customers ready and waiting for your HTML5 wizardry!
So now we know what HTML5 is, how exactly can it benefit your business and give your customers a slick web experience?
You can laugh in the face of different screen sizes
Don the Star Wars t-shirt and put yourself into a web developers shoes for a moment: you’ve just created a great looking website that works perfectly on YOUR screen, only to test it on a resolution of 768×1024 or smartphone and all of your hard work is undone. With HTML5 you can code the website to work perfectly on any screen resolution. Plus your marketing manager will be happy, as your websites bounce rate will drop overnight!
Cost effective Multi-Platform Development
One batch of code for multiple platforms. This is one of the key benefits HTML5 can give you. One batch of code that works over multiple platforms results in lower development and maintenance costs over your web applications lifetime, freeing up your IT staff to concentrate on other business critical tasks.
Google will become your best friend
HTML5 provides a sound foundation for your website to be semantically correct. Google and other search engines will not give you a good ranking if your site is unreadable or non-standard code. HTML5’s new elements are of value too when your site is being indexed and search engine’s algorithms will give you a boost in search rankings (SERP).
Features, features and a few more features
Because HTML5 is HTML with extra bells, whistles and a cherry on top, you can rest assured that there is an abundance of new features too. For instance, HTML5 supports geolocation, better accessibility for video and audio, language packs and interactive webpages. All these things bring the web to life.
Your web developers will love it
Why? Because it’s less work, easier to work with and can produce some fantastic results. Your code will become cleaner by utilizing new tags such as <header>, <article>, <section> and <nav>, thus removing the need to include a class tag. Painful plugins such as <iframe> will become a thing of the past and with frameworks like Twitter Bootstrap already developed you will be able to create rich web applications much faster than you previously could.
A better user experience
The whole point of HTML5 is to improve your online experience. The design, presentation, media types and tools to make web applications based on user data have revolutionized everyone’s experience. Think back ten years to a website like the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk); it was static, slow and lacked large quantities of content – and it was still one of the best. Log on now and it’s rich in interactive content. So if you’re an online business, HTML5 could help you grow your business.
Business Intelligence becomes mobile
Business users will be able to access their back office systems on the move and from any device. HTML5 has the ability to collect, collate and use business data across multiple browser based analytics tools. This results in higher productivity, better efficiency and easier collaboration. Win, win, win, surely?
A pretty cool feature of HTML5 is its new local storage capability. It’s a bit of a cross between ye olde cookies and client-side database. It’s better than cookies because it allows for storage across multiple windows, data is kept even if the browser is closed and has better security. That tailors it more to client side database as you don’t have to worry about deleting cookies and all the popular browsers have adopted it. The benefit of local storage is that it makes web applications possible without third party plugins, for example, it stores your information, caches data and can load your previous application state.
You’ll find yourself logging into your App Store less often
The average smartphone user will only use 5 apps on a regular basis; this is because of the fact that the storage they take up on the device means many apps don’t work correctly or, frankly, because they will get bored and delete it. Consider that 30% of smartphone users have never downloaded any app, and suddenly your market is dwindling away. A web app built on HTML5 may be the answer as it is compatible with any sized screen, there’s no storage requirement and you can get the full website experience. So has the ‘app’ had its day?
HTML5 is the future; let’s get on board!
A fluffy kitten named Tiddles is scarier than HTML5, which is essentially just a premium version of HTML. It’s not going away and is only going to get more widely adopted. If you’re a web developer, it’s time to start exploring the new features; if you’re a business owner, maybe you should consider a HTML5 framework for your web applications; and if you’re a general user like me, now is a great time to update your web browser, fiddle with your smartphone or actually turn on that tablet you had for Christmas and start experiencing a whole new world of web applications.