As a web designer based in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, I have always greeted new software with both enthusiasm and scepticism, with the latter being more prominent as we continue to battle with older browsers that fail to keep up with new technology.

As Google recently announced it will no longer be supporting IE8 as IE10 is just around the corner. This means that web designers can now take HTML5 and its features head on to give the visitor a feature-rich and modern experience that will have them glued to their screens for hours!

HTML5 and it's new features

While most of the old elements that form the foundations of what HTML is about still exist, the new elements that HTML5 offers mean that the designer/developer has an easier job that not only speeds up development time but also load times. Less code means lots of Google love!

While working as a part of a well knit team of developers based in our High Wycombe web design and development studio, I have found that HTML5 not only speeds up the entire development process but improves the overall end user experience as well.

HTML5 Elements

Many tags have been depreciated and are now specified in CSS. <center> no longer exists and hasn't for a long time, the <b> tag has been replaced with <strong> and aligning your elements inline is a big no no. This means no center aligning your text!

However all that elimination of old elements has meant that we now have plenty of room for new ones. So let's take a quick look at these and what they do.

HTML5 has new layout based elements which are article, nav, aside, section, header, footer, group, address. These allow you to layout your HTML5 based website in a logical way.

Instead of writing <div id="header"> you just write <header> . Life could not be simpler!

Online video has now changed with HTML5 as has the use of flash.

It is a well known fact that Apple has not supported flash, but we can overcome this problem by converting our old flash videos to HTML5 video format. For theme developers we have HTML5 tools such as colour pickers and date pickers, plus HTML5 canvas that allows us to create useful tools such as browser-based calculators and animations.

We also have a very useful addition to the HTML arsenal called GEOlocation. This allows the website to find its visitors with pinpoint accuracy and serve up information depending on the location of its visitor.

For a demo of this you can visit http://html5demos.com/geo

HTML5 and SEO

Firstly, with HTML5 semantically written, search engine spiders will not have a problem crawling and indexing your website and its content. All your old flash content that you converted to HTML5 video will be easily read by the search engines. In a nutshell, HTML5 will do a brilliant job at driving organic traffic, whether it be from Google, Bing or any other major search engine.

HTML5 and other devices

We have ipads, desktops, smartphones, android based tablets and everything in between all demanding a piece of the action. HTML5 provides that action with HTML5 games being written specifically for those devices. This has meant we are seeing less of flash.

HTML5 and older browsers

IE8 and below do not support HTML5. Google announced it is no longer supporting IE8. However for those who refuse to budge and move with the times we have some solutions to make their experience a little easier.

We have HTMLshiv, which is a small javascript file that lets IE8 see the new HTML5 elements as if they were block elements. Then we have PIE, which essentially allows IE8 users to see CSS3 elements such as rounded corners and gradients.

No matter what browser, operating system or device you are using, at BBI we can create the ultimate viewer experience for your online visitors from our web design studio in High Wycombe.

HTML5 in a nutshell.

HTML5:

  • Provides a mass of improvements in both user experience and usability.
  • Has a variety of new elements that helps developers write semantic code.
  • Provides a great alternative to flash.
  • Is SEO friendly when used correctly.
  • Is used heavily for online games and mobile apps.

In closing, HTML5 is here to stay, providing us with a fantastic user experience no matter what device we are using.