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We love HTML5!

HTML5 clearly has a big future, and that future is rapidly approaching. It provides many advances and advantages over previous versions of HTML, but actually you don't need to try to take on everything at once.

Why we love it

Mostly because we can see the potential of what can (and will) be achieved with it in the future, particularly in the mobile space, but also because it feels absolutely like the logical and next progression that the web should be taking.

You may well have heard about "the semantic web", and how search engines and other machines are trying to better understand the contents of websites and HTML5 (along with other related specifications such as Microdata) helps with this process by providing additional tags that infer meaning to the content.

There's also other perhaps more pertinent benefits of HTML5 for the here and now, such as "Local Storage" that can store lots of data locally on the user's browser. We could already do this with the use of cookies, but (and without getting too technical in this post - it's not intended to be a techie post!) local storage is more efficient, handles more data and a wider range of purposes.

HTML5 on mobiles is also going to be huge, and in fact there's plenty of other good things and I suggest you investigate further (or get in touch and we can tell you more about it).

What about cross-browser (IE6/7/8) compatibility?

That's totally taken care of. You simply add (Javascript) script into the <head> section of the webpage and it takes care of everything. It's called html5shiv (and confusingly html5shim although they are one and the same), and you can get the exact syntax to add into the <head> section on the official google code page.

So when should you get started with HTML5?

Well as far as we're concerned, that's an easy one to answer - as soon as possible!

We are actively encouraging our web designers and design agency partners to start working with HTML5 and we are helping them learn more about it where they would like our help. It can certainly be a little intimidating to get started with it, but as we've found for ourselves when setting up this website itself to use HTML5, once you get your head around it then it makes a lot of sense and then it's relatively easy to then carry through that knowledge to subsequent sites.

Without doubt it does add on additional time to the HTML build both to learn about it in the first place (obviously) but also once you have become more familiar with it, firstly because the HTML5 standard is still evolving to a certain extent, but also because there simply additional considerations you need to think through in terms of how best to organise the content.

How to get started

A great starting point is the HTML5 Doctor website, which provides a great reference to all the new tags available in HTML5.

Do you have to learn about it? Any alternative options?

Actually you don't HAVE to, if you're a designer or organisation and you'd prefer not to get into any type of HTML then that's absolutely fine.

Particularly if you're a designer and you want to focus on the creative side, then you can simply let us take care of the HTML(5) build, and inevitably we would look to use CSS3 as well (which we love almost as much as HTML5!).

Next steps

Well, if you're read this far then well done, you've probably gone further than most! If you still have the will to live then give us a call to talk about your existing or future website and we can discuss when and how to best integrate it into Webi CMS so you can take advantage of both content management and HTML5.

Call us any time on 020 8739 0020.