Overview of HTML & HTML5
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) uses element tags to define the structure of Web documents. For example, paragraphs are enclosed by beginning <p> and ending </p> tags to indicate that they are paragraphs, while first-level headings are marked by <h1></h1> tags. Having a clearly marked structure makes it easier for a computer and, in particular, search engines, to understand a document's content.
Unfortunately, in the early days of the internet, there were limited options for enhancing the appearance of your Web pages. As a result, designers extended the HTML tags in new ways to improve the appearance of the page. For instance, table tags, "<table></table>", were often use to precisely position elements on the page or create columns rather than being used for displaying tabular data. While this strategy worked some of the time, it often depended on the screen resolution of the monitor or device used to view the page. As mobile devices of varying sizes proliferate, a clear strategy is needed to maintain the structure of Web content while also allowing for aesthetics. HTML5 is one piece of the puzzle.
What is HTML5?
HTML5 is the next major revision of HTML standards. HTML5 includes many new features that allow you to create dynamic Web pages and makes it easier to provide viewers with multimedia experiences. The HTML5 standard is currently still evolving, although many portions of it have already been implemented by Web developers. Like previous versions of HTML, HTML5 is being developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
Best Practices with HTML5
Many of the HTML5 changes reflect the best practice of using HTML for structuring Web documents, not for modifying their appearance. Appearance issues, such as color, layout, and other visual aspects, are better handled using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).
New Features of HTML5
HTML5 includes many new features, such as:
- Semantic tags that allow the tags structuring your document to reflect the actual function of that section of the page.
- New form types that reflect the information actually being requested through Web forms, many with built-in validation.
- New ways to embed content in your document, particularly audio and video.
Normally, if an HTML5 tag is not supported, it will degrade gracefully and simply be ignored by the non-supporting browsers. As a result, many developers are already shifting to HTML5, with fallback techniques included as necessary.
Our HTML classes will teach you the current HTML tags in addition to introducing code from the evolving HTML5 standard. You will develop a better understanding of the essential components of a Web page as well as some sound principles of design. Not only will you learn the basics of HTML for creating Web sites, you will also learn the principles to help you make quick adjustments to code created by Web design programs such as Dreamweaver.
If you already have a solid foundation in HTML, you may want to consider our Transitioning to HTML5 class.