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HTML5 Simplified – And How It Applies To You

business | education | resources | web design by Shannon Noack on October 8, 2012 | 3 Comments

As a business owner, you might have heard the buzzword HTML5 and wanted to implement it immediately because it’s the latest and greatest, but weren’t quite sure what it was or how it applied to your website. Or maybe you haven’t heard of it at all, but would like to know more!

We’ll go through a simplified version of what it is and what it could mean to you, so you understand this new technology that’s available for your website. And we’ll try to keep the techie-talk to a minimum!

What is it?

Simplified: HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) is the basic language used for building websites, and HTML5 is the 5th version, which is the most current version available today. It’s still under development and hasn’t been fully adopted by every browser out there. There are still many reasons to use it though and ways to implement it so your site still functions well in browsers that don’t support it. Check out the HTML5 Test to see how well your browser supports HTML5.

The cool techie parts: HTML5 presents a big shift in the way we create websites, altering the syntax that developers use. Before, we used a tag called a ‘div’ for many things, and it wasn’t very specific as to what that was because you could use it anywhere or for anything. Now, things are more specifically classified depending on what they are. The top of the site can use a ‘header’ tag, the bottom uses a ‘footer’ tag, and now things are more clear to the browser. There are also tons of new tags that allow for greater flexibility and increased functionality.

Why use it?

As I mentioned, it’s not fully supported by every browser, there are parts that just don’t work if you use them in certain browsers (see this handy chart that shows which browsers are accepting different parts of HTML5). Older browsers especially don’t support HTML5 because they were built before HTML5 came about. So many people ask, why use it just yet? HTML5 is still being shaped, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great tool that we can use, and there are ways to make sure your site still functions well in the less supportive browsers. Greater functionality is offered and you can utilize that today, so there’s really no reason to not adopt it!

How to use it?

Without getting too technical, there are pieces of code that will make older or less supportive browsers see the new language and still function well. There are some great tutorials and resources on how to implement it at Dive into HTML5, HTML5 Broilerplate includes some great templates with codes to help with cross-browser support, and HTML5 Rocks has a lot of great information on it as well. Learning about how to use it is the first step for any developer, and then you can better understand how to make it work across the board.

Why should you care as a business owner?

It’s up to web developers to learn the nitty gritty details of what it is and how to use it. But you should care about learning what it is if you aren’t a developer, because your website might already use it! Or maybe it should if it doesn’t currently. The web is headed towards implementing great things and it’s always best to stay informed of new technology and how you can participate and implement it – even if you aren’t implementing it yourself.

HTML5 won’t be adopted by every website overnight or even in 2012, but it’s great to learn about it and start thinking about integrating it in your next web project. Hopefully this quick overview gave you a better understanding of HTML5, feel free to ask us any questions you have about it in the comments area below!


  1. TruKiss
    November 14, 2012 @ 6:02 pm

    Does buddypress support HTML5? l’m I using it now on my homepage, etc?

  2. Shannon
    November 14, 2012 @ 6:39 pm

    Buddypress is compatible, yes. And your website actually does have some HTML5 components!

  3. The Best of Snoack Studios Blog from 2012 | Snoack Studios Blog
    February 22, 2013 @ 10:49 am

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