We’re pleased to share a three part series on recent innovations in the web design world. This week, we are focusing on HTML 5 – what is HTML 5 and what are the benefits? There has been a lot of buzz about HTML 5. We’ll help you distinguish fact from fiction and help you determine if HTML 5 is right for the future of your website.
What is HTML 5?
HTML 5 (hypertext markup language) is the latest version of the language used to create documents that define the structure of a website, such as paragraphs, lists, and links. HTML 5 has many new syntactical features from its previous versions, which include the <canvas>, <video>, and <audio> elements that allow a richer user experience. These innovations in the markup language has proven to be a viable solution to Flash’s desktop and mobile browser incompatibility issues.
Benefits of HTML 5
HTML 5 provides operability of interactive functions on popular web platforms like Chrome, IE8, Safari, Opera and others. HTML 5 connects data with video/clips/images more efficiently and web designs are delivered faster than ever before. With HTML 5 it is possible to embed video and audio, high quality drawings, charts and animation and many other rich content without using any plugins and third party programs. Here is a short list of some of the functions that work across browsers using HTML 5.
- Drag and Drop, and automatic upload
- Style class list manipulation
- Communicate across windows using local storage
- Offline web applications
- Two videos playing in sync
- Interactive canvas gradients (Check this out here: html5demos.com/canvas-grad)
- Geolocation tracking (http://html5demos.com/geo)
- Real time message posting on same domain – real time message posting across domains
- Drag and drop effects (http://html5demos.com/drag)
HTML 5 Compatibility
HTML 5 is far from perfect, but all major browser developers are making strong efforts to ensure their browser is ready for the future. If you are interested in knowing how well your browser and operating system supports HTML 5, check it out using this website: http://html5test.com/. It’s not only important to understand what your settings are, but what browsers and operating system the majority of your target users are using in order to determine if HTML 5 is right for your website. By using audience tracking tools such as Google Analytics you can determine what type of technologies your users are using to view your website.
According to an infographic from focus.com here’s where the most popular browsers currently stand on
HTML 5 readiness.
Why Choose HTML 5?
So now that you are armed with this information, is HTML 5 right for you? Compared to Flash, HTML 5 is relatively free, easy to implement, and more widely accepted. However, Flash is still a great choice for more powerful, interactive effects that are only available in Flash (where would we be in online gaming without flash?) So depending on the context and target audience, your developer may recommend Flash, HTML 5, or a combination of both. In the long term, HTML 5 may be the better, more universal, choice.
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