Tips and Tricks

What does HTML 5 mean to iWeb users

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?

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7 Comments

  1. I can’t wait! I am most likely going to get it when it comes out.

  2. Hanging out for this one. I haven’t gone wrong trusting Apple so far so until I get good and burned I’ll be in line.

  3. I can’t wait, and I hope the rumor are true that we’re getting a new iWeb at the end of this week. I’ve got a few sites waiting to be designed, so I’m holding off a wee bit. Exciting!

  4. Please, apple!!! A new iweb!!!!!!

  5. I will make my site html 5 immediately. If people can’t see it, they won’t be my customers. I know that is a tough pill to swallow at first, but developers are going to have to stick to their guns on this one and force people to upgrade their browser. In all honesty, “non-techy” people need to use common sense and upgrade software as it becomes available anyways.

  6. I would absolutely upgrade as I am looking forward to the introduction of HTML 5.

  7. no update as yet in iweb , in ilife 11 still no update..

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