What is HTML5?

If you work in a web design agency, you may or may not be aware that HTML5 is the latest and most advanced version of Hypertext Markup Language, the DNA of coding and building websites, if you like. HTML5 actually uses three kinds of code: HTML itself – which provides the structure or framework to build a website, JavaScript that enables graphics and images to run and Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS, which are responsible for presentation. HTML5 is also crucial for mobile web developers, games developers who are looking to the web as a new platform or companies that may have specific business needs.

Browsers and Flash

HTML5_Wallpaper_1280x10242All the big five browsers as well as Mobile Safari and Android support HTML5; however they don’t all support the same things. Firefox supports the largest selection of HTML5 features, yet with HTML5 constantly evolving all of them will be fully compatible soon. It is also superseding Flash too. iOS devices, for example, do not support Flash and most video websites have either moved from Flash to HTML5, or at least offer HTML5 in addition. The only problem with this – for owners at least – is that HTML5 doesn’t include digital rights management (DRM) to prevent copying. Some owners, therefore, still prefer the DRM friendly format of Flash or Silverlight.

So, what is it good for?

 HTML5 delivers optimum website performance in three key areas. Firstly, in terms of computing performance, HTML5 manipulates strings as little as possible and reduces memory churn, meaning that your frame time in not eaten away.

HTML5 also maximises network performance: A delay of just 1000 milli seconds can result in a 7% loss in conversion. A higher conversion speed ensures fast page load times and an optimised delivery of resources. This translates into increased conversions, higher levels of end user engagement and lower bounce rates. Furthermore, HTML5 also delivers optimum rendering performance: how quickly the data becomes pixels on the screen. HTML5 ensures that browsers have the least amount of work to do as possible when updating pixels on the screen when users are scrolling or interacting with sites.

When it comes to smartphone optimisation, HTML5 offers superior touch friendly interfaces, mobile first responsive web designs, high dpi images and makes for an easier user experience of filling in forms or fields.

For gamers or games developers, HTML5 means that browsers now have the ability to be fully fledged gaming platforms with features such as rich audio API’s, offline asset storage and high performance 2D and 3D graphics. Socket based networking also means that fantastic games can be created to engage with users across the globe. HTML5 games can be played in browsers across desktop or mobile devices, laptops, tablets, netbooks or Smart TV’s.

HTML5: Coming to a browser near you soon – if it hasn’t already!