Remember what the Internet looked like 15 years ago, when eCommerce web site design was in its infancy and social media consisted of dodgy chat rooms full of people with a limited vocabulary of ‘cool’, ‘rocks’, ‘rules’ and ‘sucks’? There was no Facebook, YouTube, Spotify et al. Video chat was something only Captain Kirk could do. A cloud (as Joni Mitchell sang) only blocked the sun.

Things have really changed, haven’t they? Yet in all that time, there’s been no update to HTML – the standard stuff from which web sites are made. The last iteration of it was HTML4 in 1997 – and that has been pretty much pushed to breaking point. Now HTML5 is finally here to take web design and Internet browsing in general to the next level. This might not be “hold the front page” news for everybody, but it’s likely to have a huge effect on the way web sites are designed in the near future.

Expect HTML5 to be:

Faster – HTML4 was never designed for videos, music, animations and complex graphics. It only manages it via clever workarounds and plug-ins. In contrast, HTML5 is built specifically to take all that in its stride. It also means that it requires less computer horsepower to do the job – so even slow devices and a crawling Internet connection will still run your content.

Simpler – At the moment, you need an eCommerce web site design, plus a separate version optimised for mobile handsets. Instead of having different browsers for each application, HTML5 will be smart enough to make the same site work on all platforms. With a consistent user experience, you won’t need to go round the houses to make Facebook talk to your iTunes and sharing everything with everyone will be much easier.

Cheaper – It stands to reason that if one site will do everything consistently on all platforms in means a professional web developer spends less time trying to work out the logistics. So developing web sites becomes cheaper and the money saved can go towards designing a better user experience.

More creative – Now it’s not so much about the limitations of HTML – because the advanced capabilities of HTML5 will push web design creativity. The more talented and forward-thinking professional web developers will be able to design sites that just aren’t possible now. Instead of a one-size-fits-all presentation, imagine truly interactive sites that adapt to the requirements of the user so that everybody has a different, uniquely tailored experience. It’s likely to be an exciting time for the Internet over the next few years.

So do you need a HTML5-based web site right now?

HMTL5 opens up unexplored territory and creative possibilities. There are those early adopters that like to be on the cutting edge. There are also those who like to wait to see which way the wind is blowing first. But there is little doubt that the days when an eCommerce web site design was little more than an online brochure are coming to an end. As HTML5 evolves, creative people with vision will show the way forward.

Not everybody wants to be a pioneer; some just want to get on with their business. If your current web site is working for you, there’s little reason to fix it if it ain’t broken. But be aware that a change is in the air.

If you want to know more about HTML5 and what it could do for you, you can always talk to a professional web design company like iWeb. We’ve been around even longer than HTML4 and we have the talent to take your business to the next level too.