You should start to get your head around HTML5

I’ve written a few blogs on HTML5.

It is arguably the most exciting and revolutionary web technology ever, and will take today’s websites from being mere collections of pages and files, to being powerful, interactive, web-based applications.

Apart from the much-discussed killing of Flash by HTML5 (by virtue that HTML5 can do most of what Flash can do, albeit much more elegantly), there is so much more that HTML5 brings: powerful audio and video capabilities, geo-location functionality, content editing, the list goes on. (Apple has a great,sneak peek website which allows you to see some of the most visual capabilities of HTML5, as long as you have a capable browser.)

HTML5 Showcase

One of the blogs I have written on HTML5 questioned whether you should be building your websites in HTML5.

My conclusion? That we’re not quite there yet and to avoid too much experimentation at this point.

By all means, start to provision for HTML5 in those areas where you can implement an HTML4 fallback or similar, though don’t go building websites entirely reliant on HTML5 just yet: there is just not enough browser support out there and you’ll likely alienate your core audience.

To compliment and support my previous blogs, the purpose of this blog is simply to recommend that you start to become au fait with HTML5, even if you’re not yet implementing it. Because we’re at the beginning of the cusp and transition to HTML5, and the momentum is only going to grow and grow and grow.

What does getting my head around HTML5 mean?

Think of mobile (iPhone) applications.

Two years back, they played a small part in most online strategies, and few clients were interested or inquisitive about them.

Fast forward, and that has all changed. Mobile applications are booming, and clients are scrambling to understand them, and how they might play a role in their online strategies. Any client scrambling now has lost the ‘first mover advantage’ and the benefit of investing early.

HTML5 is no different. The more you know and the earlier you know it, the sooner you’ll be able to invest and take advantage.

Of course, understanding exactly how HTML5 will become part of your strategy is probably a little difficult to assess at this point. Unless you’re at the pointy-end of web development – say you’re an online publisher or media company – the HTML5 technology, its direction and adoption is just a little too hazy to be precisely useful.

You don’t need specifics at this point however. Just an understanding of what it is, what is can do and what early-adopters are doing with it.

Talk to your web developer, do some research and start preparing for the next wave of the web. It will affect every website and website-type, and the earlier you get up-to-speed, the earlier you’ll be able to take advantage.


Here are some useful resources to consider in learning more; remember, make sure you’re running the latest version of your browser, and until Internet Explorer 9 is released and stable, avoid Internet Explorer:

Six Revisions: this is a slightly designer/developer focused resource, though it is easy to read and covers a good cross-section of what you’ll need to know. Read here.

eConsultancy: these guys put together some great research, and this blog – one of many they have done on HTML5 – covers the specifics of how and why Virgin America ditched Flash in light of HTML5 for its video. Read here.

Techcrunch: If you are coming up to speed on the HTML5 versus Flash thing, this is a good blog. Read here.