What is HTML5?

Html is the markup language that dictates a websites structure and content – think of it as the canvas that all of your website information such as text, photos and videos is put on before it’s processed by your web browser.

Back when the internet was ‘new’, websites consisted of large chunks of oversized, colourful text and ugly tables with overly thick borders. It wasn’t the web designers’ fault that the website looked like this – it was because the internet (and html) was designed to display information, not be pretty.

As the internet gained popularity and people starting realizing the exciting new things they could do with it, the W3C (Word Wide Web Consortium) decided that the HTML language needed to be standardized and expanded to accommodate new features, and in 1994 they released ‘HTML 2.0’. This included the support for page headings, dot points, and hyperlinks – an integral part of the internet we see today.

Websites have come a long way since the language was first standardized (it’s crazy to think that in 5 years websites have gone from this to this and it’s time for a new revision of the HTML language – HTML5. HTML5 will be the successor to both HTML 4.0 and XHTML 1 and will introduce a wide arrange of new features which will enhance websites and allow developers to do more without having to rely on external plugins and addons.

What are HTML5’s features?

  • There are new content specific tags such as <nav>, <article> and <header> which will lead to ‘cleaner’ code and better search engine optimisation
  • HTML5 can play video’s and audio without needing to install any plugins. This is great for mobile devices (such as iphones which don’t support flash) and means you won’t lose clients who can’t view your videos.  You can preview youtube’s HTML5 trial here
  • Interactive and animated pictures, graphs and charts can be programmed without the need for flash or other plugins.
  • Form inputs have been updated and can now be set to specific input types such as numbers, telephone, search, date and time and can even validate without the need for javascript, this means less coding time and cheaper development costs.
  • Drag and drop interaction (like when you sort circles in google+)
  • Your browser can now detect your location through the HTML5 Geolocation feature

A detailed list of HTML5’s features can be found here –

What now?

HTML5 isn’t finalized yet and is scheduled for ‘release’ in 2022 nobody knows!, however web browsers are starting to support the features now and many websites have already implementing it (such as facebook and gmail) – which means you’ve probably been using it and haven’t even realised.


Here are some examples of the great new animation features that HTML 5 has to offer, feel free to suggest more in the comments!