HTML5, officially released by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in 2014, with the first working draft released by Web HyperText Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) in 2008. These two web-gems have laid down the foundation for us to be able to build sites, that are simpler to develop, easier to maintain while improving appearance and functionality.
More descriptive tags
HTML consists of elements that define site structure; we can move away from overdoing the <div> tags (sometimes referred to as a ‘bad case of DIVitis‘) and start seeing a tidier layout that is clearly labelled, by the use of <header>, <nav>, <main>, <section>, <aside> and <footer> tags. Also, recognised by search engines to efficiently crawl sites and rank effectively.
Embedding content has become a lot less cumbersome, and multimedia elements have become less reliant on plug-ins. They do this by using tags <audio> and <video>.
Sites are more visually appealing
We can see graphical enhancements via CSS3’s advanced selectors, such as, identifying odd or even table rows or selecting the last paragraph in the group.
We have better font support and can create drop shadows or gradients. Gone are the days of replicating these in an image, only to have search engines ignore the embedded text and cause delays with displaying image header elements.
Work in progress
Although Firefox, Chrome, and Safari have strong HTML5 support, occasionally, specifications change and browsers will need to change with it, possibly deprecating functions.
To keep on top of changes and stay up-to-date, keep an eye on the following pages: