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What is HTML5 and do I need it for my website?

The non-techy guide to HTML5


You’ve probably heard the term HTML5 being thrown around a lot when looking for a web designer or web design company, right? I know as web developers we can talk about some very abstract things... and sometimes we forget that our clients don’t find all the geek speak and tech talk as interesting as we do.


With that in mind this is the Non-techy Guide to HTML5

What is HTML5

HMTL is the language of websites. Without it we wouldn’t be able to create and build amazing websites for our customers. Think of HTML as the framework of a building, it’s the bones of the structure that supports everything else. HTML decides on the structure of a page and how content is presented and put together.

Now most modern websites don’t just have HTML – there are a lot of other things that go into creating a website or building a Joomla website specifically (like CSS, Javascript, PHP and Mysql databases, etc) but at the core HTML is the glue that holds everything together.

HTML is made up of different elements. Every element is usually represented by a tag, so for example, all the text on this page would be called ‘paragraph text’ and that would be represented by the <p> tag. So in HTML talk, if I wanted a piece of text to be presented as ‘paragraph text’ (like this text is) I would wrap it in a P tag -

<p>like this</p>

As another example making something Bold you would use the <strong> tag

<strong>like this</strong>

OK, that’s great but what has this got to do with HTML5?

Well HTML started out as a pretty rudimentary coding language and as the web has grown, websites have gotten more complex as more people are using the web to run business, check emails, go on social media or do their banking etc, the internet community has needed to update and upgrade the coding languages and frameworks that run the web.

HTML is no different and it has gone through many iterations of changes – the latest being HTML5. The biggest changes that we have seen are the advent of new elements like <video>, <audio> and <canvas> elements that enable us to play videos within a page without the need of an embedded player (this means that all modern browsers can play videos with a reduction in cross browser issues) pages can also play audio without a player and can render amazing graphs on the page (usually with a little help from using javascript also).

There are a bunch of other crazy, tech related benefits that I won’t go into here, but basically it comes down to this. HTML5 enables web developers to add really cool features like video, graphs, animation, etc to your website.

Previously as developers we needed to create different versions of things for different browsers and different mobile devices and different systems, but as the web has started to standardise, we can build it once and display it the same on multiple devices, screens and systems. This means a better user experience for your customers and less cost to you as we’re only building something once!

Do I need to change my website to HTML5?

Chances are, if you’ve had a website built recently, it’s already incorporating elements of HTML5. You can’t really have a non-HTML5 website and simply convert it to HTML5 as there are other elements that need to go into building a site on HTML5 (like using CSS3 for example).

If your site isn’t using HTML5 there are certainly benefits to redeveloping the website and using the latest technologies (responsive design for example) so that users across all devices have a consistent and pleasant experience using your website.

But in the end it all comes down to a cost benefit analysis. If your website is doing great and you don’t think re-developing it is going to bring more customers or business through the door then leave it. If however, your bounce rate is high, your conversion rate is low and your customers aren’t spending much time on your website then perhaps it’s time to look for a web designer to quote on building a nice new sparkly HTML5 website for you!

Call us today on (07) 3882 3375 for a free quote