A Beginner’s Guide to HTML5

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A Beginner's Guide to HTML5

HTML5 was designed to do virtually anything you want to do online without having to download browser plugins or other software. Want to create animations? Embed music and movies? Build advanced applications that run in your browser? You can with HTML5.

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about HTML5, including:

What is HTML5?

HTML5 is the newest version of HTML. The term refers to two things. One is the updated HTML language itself, which has new elements and attributes. The second is the larger set of technologies that work with this new version of HTML — like a new video format — and enable you to build more complex and powerful websites and apps.

To understand how HTML has evolved over the years, let’s look at the differences between HTML and HTML5.

HTML vs HTML5

HTML is the World Wide Web’s core markup language. Originally designed to semantically describe scientific documents, it has since evolved to describe much more.

Most pages on the web today were built using HTML4. Although much improved since the first version of HTML written in 1993, HTML4 still had its limitations. It’s biggest was if web developers or designers wanted to add content or features to their site that weren’t supported in HTML. In that case, they would have to use non-standard proprietary technologies, like Adobe Flash, which required users to install browser plugins. Even then, some users wouldn’t be able to access that content or feature. Users on iPhones and iPads, for example, wouldn’t be able to since those devices don’t support Flash.

Cue, HTML5. HTML5 was designed to cut out the need for those non-standard proprietary technologies. With this new version of HTML, you can create web applications that work offline, support high-definition video and animations, and know where you are geographically located.

To understand how HTML5 can do all that, let’s look at what’s new in this latest version of HTML.

What is new in HTML5?

HTML5 was designed with major objectives, including:

  • Making code easier to read for users and screen readers
  • Reducing the overlap between HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Promoting design responsiveness and consistency across browsers
  • Supporting multimedia without the need for Flash or other plugins

Each of these objectives informed the changes in this new version of HTML. Let’s focus on seven of those changes below.

New Semantic Elements

HTML5 introduced several new semantically meaningful tags. These include

,

,