You may have read, if you visit as many web-design blogs as I do, all about the latest version of HTML that is evolving as I type this very post. HTML 5 is seen as the next ‘big thing’ in web design and promises to bring improved functionality and interactivity to our web-sites; which can’t be a bad thing.
Obviously because we, as iWeb users, don’t hand code our sites there are only certain elements of HTML 5 that will apply to us. Yes we have the HTML Snippet to insert the new code, but there are still pieces we will not use; not until Apple update iWeb anyway!
And of course, that is the key. The vast majority of elements being introduced with HTML 5 are related to semantics in standard web-design and include tags such as <header>, <nav>, <footer> and the like. Web designers will now be using tags such as these to layout their web-sites rather than <div>.Visitors who are still using older browsers such as IE7 or Firefox 2 won’t see the all-singing, all-dancing version of your site as their browsers aren’t capable; so bear that in mind.
Whereas a web designer may use the following now:
<head> <title>A web site</title> </head> <body> <div id="wrapper"> <div id="header">blah blah blah</div> <div id="navbar">blah blah blah</div> <div id="content">blah blah blah</div> <div id="sidebar">blah blah blah</div> <div id="footer">blah blah blah</div> </div> </body>
He/She will now use
<head> <title>Another web site</title> <body> <header>blah blah blah</header> <nav>blah blah blah</nav> <section>blah blah blah</section> <aside>blah blah blah</aside> <footer>blah blah blah</footer> </body>
Using this newer version of HTML 5 will mean, therefore, that the browser being used will know instantly which part of the page is, for example, a header section or a footer section or the content itself, thereby making the web page more semantic.Using this newer version of HTML 5 will mean, therefore, that the browser being used will know instantly which part of the page is a header section or a footer section or the content itself, thereby making the web page more semantic.
In addition, our pages will become easier to navigate; not for us though, for search engines, screen readers and the like. This will in-turn bring an overall improvement in a uses web experience.
HTML 5 elements we can use in iWeb now (within HTML Snippets) are those designed to insert video and audio, and I shall be covering these in later posts.
What this of course means is, that if the rumours are correct, and Apple are going to release a new version of iLife anytime soon, perhaps the way that our iWeb sites are built will be different.
Is that a good thing or a bad thing? We will have to wait and see but, as always, there is a caveat.
We must always remember that we are designing an iWeb site for your visitors, NOT for ourselves. By this I mean if you are sitting at home (or work, or in a coffeshop) and happily viewing web-sites in the latest version of Safari then you will reap all the benefits of HTML 5 (and CSS 3 for that matter).
Visitors who are still using older browsers such as IE7 or Firefox 2 won’t see the all-singing, all-dancing version of your site as their browsers aren’t capable.
I would be interested to know whether or not you would upgrade to iWeb if the changes I mentioned above were implemented. Remembering that not all internet users have the latest browser, would it be best to wait?