What’s new in HTML5?

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HTML5 was created to make the coding process easier and more sensible. You will see a bit later that many syntaxes are now deprecated and soon to be kicked out through the back door. The exclusive and amazing features HTML5 comes with are in the multimedia division. Many of the functions it comes with have been created with the consideration that users should be able to run heavy content on low-powered devices. The syntactic features include the new <video>, <audio> and <canvas> elements, but also integration of vector graphics content (what we knew before as being the <object> tags). This means that multi-media and graphic content on the web will be handled and executed easier and faster, without the need of plugins or APIs.

There are a bunchload of new syntaxes included, but below I will name and explain the most essential. The relax of them can always be discovered in W3C’s HTML5 section.

<article> – this tag defines an article, a user comment or a post, so an independent item of content

<aside> – the aside tag marks content aside from the web page material, which for example could be a horizontal sidebar

<header><footer> – you won’t need to manually name IDs for headers and footers, as now you have a pre-defined tag for them

<nav> – the navigation can now be placed in the markup in between the nav tags, which will instantly create your lists act like navigation

<section> – this is another important new syntax, as it can determine any type of

segments in your document. It works fairly much like a div which separates different sections.

<audio><video> – these two obviously mark sound or video content, which will now be easier to run by devices.

 – this new tag describes a container for interactive content (plugin) or external application

<canvas> – the canvas tag is quite interesting, as it allows drawing graphics via scripting (mostly JavaScript, but some others can be applied as well)

What is important to remember is that the new HTML5 tags do not always work as the ones before. For example, the header and footer tags will not only mark the start and the end of a page, but also the begin and the end of each section you have. This means that these two tags are likely to be used more than once in the whole page. In the representation below can you see what I mean.


Example of how HTML5 code looks like

Oh yes, and the DOCTYPE declaration finally makes some sense. Or, at least, now it is much simpler than before and it is very easy for us to remember and we won’t have to search for it on the web or copy it from site to site. <!DOCTYPE html> closed by </html> at the end of the page is something we waited for for a long time to come and now it finally is here.

Moreover, complex XHTML declarations many of us used before can now be replaced with <html lang=”en”> and long encoding declarations can simply be written in this way: <meta charset=”utf-8>. Can it get easier than that? It most definitely can’t.

The following tags from HTML 4.01 are now eliminated from HTML5, therefore internet explorer do not offer support for them any longer. This implies that it is a wise decision to go back to your HTML pages and examine for them, as they might affect the style in the latest browsers.

  • <acronym>
  • <applet>
  • <basefont>
  • <big>
  • <center>
  • <dir>
  • <font>
  • <frame>
  • <frameset>
  • <noframes>
  • <strike>
  • <tt>

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