Update 27/01/11: HTML5 is now really just HTML. But for those who like buzz words we’ll call it HTML5. So read on about why you can use the evolving version of HTML, I mean HTML5.
Firstly, lets look at the past to see where we have come from. About 6 years ago Dave and I attended the first ever @media web conference in London. A common question that kept cropping up was “yes we’ve heard about this XHTML and CSS stuff (Web Standards) but why on earth should we use it?” Good question…and it turns out the answer is rather straightforward:
It’s the correct approach to front end web development
Well in the eyes of the developers it was.
For those who don’t get turned on by semantics and all the other nerdy goodness it offers, what are the reasons for moving over to “Web Standards”? Well rather than list the numerous benefits, as this is really about HTML5, take a read of Ryan’s excellent article “Why Use Web Standards”.
So here at Zoocha 6 years later we find ourselves at a bit of a déjà vu moment. Just this time substitute the abbreviation HTML5 in to where “Web Standards” used to live.
So 5 reasons to use HTML5
With all the big players embracing HTML5 already, it looks a fairly safe bet that it will be the future. How will it exactly pan out know one quite knows (or when), but at some point it will land as a standard and is the next logical step.
It could help search engines to correctly index your content
This well may not be the case now, certain tags will help such as Microformats, but Google search engines are getting smarter and smarter. So segmenting your content into meaningful tags i.e. content within an
tag rather than just
<div class=”article” />
could in the future carry more weight and help boost your all important SERPS.
It can help accessibility
As with Web Standards, just by producing a site that uses CSS for presentation, it does not mean you’re accessible. HTML5 is the same story, just by coding in HTML5 doesn’t mean your site is more accessible. Instead, it’s another arrow in your bow to help make your site become more accessible.
Bundles of new features
HTML5 doesn’t just allow you to mark-up documents with meaningful semantic tags, it also offers new functionality. These aren’t all in HTML5 spec per se but part of the new movement towards funky new web applications, hence why they are mentioned. From watching videos without having to have a plug in, native form features, the canvas, application caches so information can be stored offline to geolocation. Whilst these are in no way the finished article, there is no harm being ready to embrace them.
And actually it is also the present
So that is why when we create a website, unless directed otherwise, you will get your website built in lovely HTML5 goodness. You may also get a bit of CSS3 thrown in for good measure…but that’s for another time.