As more and more people now prefer smartphones or tablets over PCs to surf the internet, mobile friendly sites with good user experience have become the need of the hour. Paying heed to the current demands of rich media, cross device and mobile internet access requirements, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in October 2014 published HTML 5, the fifth and the latest version of the HTML standard.
One of the biggest differences between HTML5 and previous versions of the HTML standard is that it provides one common interface to load elements in multiple browsers. Since the older versions of HTML require proprietary plugins and APIs, a web page that was built and tested in one browser may not load correctly in another browser. But same is not the case with HTML5, which completely obviates the need of installing a Flash plugin by allowing the element to run by itself.
HTML5 was designed keeping in mind cross-platform mobile application development. Besides, new syntactic features in HTML5, like video, audio and canvas tags, were specifically introduced to support multimedia on mobile devices. Offline storage is also one of the virtues of HTML5.
Unlike native applications, HTML5 applications do not link themselves to the underlying operating system while running within a web browser. Therefore, developers who use HTML5 don’t face the hassles of dealing with the time-consuming and complex development processes that native applications based on the internal operating system require. With capabilities to create visually appealing websites and interactive web applications, HTML 5 is likely to see continuous rise in its popularity.
CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets and has become a popular language for implementing front-end web design. The style sheet language describes the presentation of a document written in a markup language. When CSS was first designed, the primary intention was to enable distinction between the document content and the presentation of the document, including aspects such as the layout, colors, and fonts.
The capability of CSS to separate formatting and content makes it possible to correctly display the web page on different screen sizes and browsers. CSS3 is the latest version of CSS and has gained a lot of traction for contributing greatly to the popularity, ease of use and accessibility of the internet. The combination of HTML5 and CSS3 offers a lot of benefits, which is the next and most important section of this blog. Let’s take a walk through.
With HTML5 and CSS3, there is no need to write multiple codes for different mobile platforms (like Android, iOS, Windows, etc). A single batch of code is good enough with HTML5 and CSS3 to run across multiple platforms. We call it an advantage because having to write one code for multiple platforms saves significant development and maintenance cost.
To attain a good rank on search engines, the web page needs to be semantically accurate, and this is one of the best strengths of HTML5. It’s a known fact that a well-structured HTML page is easily read by search engines, which increases the possibility of bringing more organic traffic to your site. Content is the king but without an SEO-friendly web page, it’s highly unlikely for your site to rank high in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Specific mark-up features of HTML5 helps search engines easily find items like images, videos, scripts, style sheets, and more. The semantic elements of HTML5, on the other hand, allow developers to define different parts of web pages with ease.
Many browsers are not compatible with all types of web pages, but HTML5 and CSS3 offer multi-browser and device support. With HTML5 and CSS3, developers can use many coding techniques to ensure that their sites run hassle-free on all browsers and devices.
You must have come across apps that can be used offline. Similar to that, HTML5 also allows to locally store web application code and content. The offline application cache allows HTML5 to support the storage of the code locally. It’s a boon to many businesses, like publishing, as allows access to the site even when the users are offline or have no internet connection.
Geolocation is another brilliant feature of using HTML5, giving developers the-much-needed freedom to build apps that are location specific. Food and ecommerce sites are good examples of location-based apps. Every place has its own culture and buying habits. So, if you know the location of your users, you can offer them products that are popular there and figure out choices they are likely to make.
HTML5 comes with audio and video elements to embed and allow the manipulation of new multimedia content. WebRTC makes it possible to connect to other people and control video conferencing directly in the browser. The Camera API in HTML5 provides a way to use, manipulate, and store an image from the computer’s camera. HTML5 offers a gamut of multimedia features to enhance user experience.
CSS3 helps developers create a webpage that is both responsive and aesthetic. Since users are likely to access your site or app via desktops, tablets or smartphones, it’s important that your web page looks good on all devices. Compared to the older versions of CSS and HTML, the latests ones (CSS3 and HTML5) help in a better way to resize, shrink, enlarge, hide, or move the content to make it look good on various screen sizes. CSS3 also sports features, like fancy borders, animation, typography enhancement, background styling features and additional presentational layouts, to add visual appeal to the web page. CSS3 is flexible, therefore you can make desirable changes to the web design process by tweaking the CSS3 code.
The mix of HTML5 and CSS3 gives rise to the creation of web sites and web applications that are user-friendly and easily accessible. Every digital marketer knows that good user-experience ramps up conversion rates, which is why many web pages have already been built using the two languages in question. Besides, HTML5 allows to collect important data about customer behavior and run analytics on that to make right business decisions.
Putting HTML5 and CSS3 into use in the right manner opens new avenues for developers to build websites and web applications that are user-friendly, easily accessible and visually appealing. Apart from reducing cross-platform development cost, the two languages give a significant boost to your content marketing and SEO efforts. Being able to do so increases the visibility of your business, creates brand value and brings more loyal customers, which is the key to high ROI. So, you can use HTML5 and CSS3 for your business to increase your reach and optimize web experience.
Have you ever used HTML5 and CSS3? What you think about the future of HTML5 and CSS3? Do you want to add more to what’s already being discussed? Please share your views in the comment box below.