“Will you be coding the site in HTML5?”
At Sage, we hear this question all the time: HTML5 and, to a lesser extent, CSS3 are the buzzwords that everyone wants to hear. But the increasingly bloated W3C specifications of both HTML5 and CSS3 mean that often, neither party has a clear idea of what the other means when they refer to HTML5 or CSS3. What do these nebulous terms really mean for your business and your website?
At this point, the HTML5 specification is the longest HTML specification the W3C has yet written, so it’s often difficult to extract meaningful details for your business, especially since browser support varies wildly. However, one of the most important and cross-browser compatible aspects of HTML5 is new, more semantic code: tags like
Another feature of HTML5 that can be implemented immediately are new form input types, such as
CSS3 speeds up the design and development process by providing CSS rules for techniques that have traditionally been done with a combination of Photoshop, container
border-radius speed up your page and improve the user experience by reducing HTTP requests and minimizing page size. Even older browsers (that is, IE 6-8) can render CSS3 properties correctly with the aid of a progressive enhancement script (at Sage, we’re huge fans of CSS3PIE). It’s easy to degrade gracefully: for rules not yet supported by CSS3PIE (
text-shadow jumps to mind), Modernizr (above) allows developers to specify an alternate style for older browsers based on their support. The trade-off to using CSS3 rules, naturally, is somewhat inconsistent rendering (
text-shadow, again, is especially unpredictable), but do websites need to look exactly the same in every browser?
These CSS3 rules speed up the development process: where once we needed 4 separate images (and
divs) to create a simple rounded box which was next to impossible to change, we can now use a simple set of bulletproof
border-radius rules, and easily change the box’s appearance – saving our clients money.