In a rapidly changing web environment, things become obsolete quickly as user requirements and innovation constantly push the boundaries of existing technology to the limit. A major development in the distance rumbling towards us is HTML5. HTML5 (hyper text markup language) is a new version of the core markup language (HTML) with which the web is built. Currently in order to have video or audio on a webpage, you need to use software plug-ins such as Flash, Silverlight or JavaFX. The problem with plug-ins are that they need to be installed onto your browser first, and tend to cause a number of problems which slow down websites and can even crash your computer. But with HTML5, video and audio can be written into the code allowing for slicker websites and a lot less crashing.
For businesses the native video support will mean that it is incredibly easy to have websites which can play back your videos for product demos, presentations and commercials. No longer will potential customers get to your site only to be confronted with a black box and a link to download the plug-in to view the video. How many sales do you think you’ve lost because of this?
Another feature is the “section” tag, which will provide internet marketers the opportunity to describe the topic of each section of their website individually and allow them to avoid using h2, h3 tags. This means that search engines will have even better chances of finding the most relevant content when returning your search results and get your business in front of potential customers faster.
Apple is the biggest advocate of HTML5 currently as they want it to be used by everyone as soon as possible. Mostly because they have made the decision that their new devices will not support flash, and as Apple CEO Steve Jobs explained at the recent D8 conference, they feel that Flash is dying software, and is being overtaken by the likes of HTML5. He explains that:
“Apple is a company that doesn’t have the resources that everyone else has. We choose what tech horses to ride, we look for tech that has a future and is headed up.” Steve Jobs @ D:8.
Currently, HTML5 is still off in the distance but it seems like it is only a matter of time, as big businesses, TV and News networks have been making changes to their sites so that they are ready for the changeover. Flash isn’t going to disappear right away either, but with all the sensible and business positive changes coming with HTML5 it could be on a shallow ledge.