Since Tim Berners-Lee fired up the world’s first web page 30 years ago, the internet has come to shape and form almost all aspects of our lives. The web’s influence on culture, media, and our day-to-day existence has been profound. These days, the internet is an integral part of our work and social pursuits, to the point that the real and virtual worlds are now almost becoming one.
The internet is the greatest library in the history of man. Try googling almost any subject and you’ll more than likely find someone, somewhere has already written about it. The web is changing how we communicate (try imagining a world without email or messaging apps), how we work, how we view media, and even how we shop. Yet behind all these monumental changes has been one relatively simple coding language—HTML.
What is HTML?
HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language and it’s the code that has powered the exponential growth of the internet. Of course, as you’d expect in such a pioneering and forward-thinking industry, HTML hasn’t stood still and the language is constantly evolving. HTML has come a long way since those early days with Berners-Lee—but many of the basic premises of the original coding language remain. HTML5 is the latest iteration, and it is also the most ground-breaking.
The advantages of HTML5
The biggest advantage of HTML5 is its ability to natively support video and audio files, without the need for external, third-party players. Also, as our use of mobile devices increased (cell phones, tablets, smartwatches, etc.), there was a growing need for a language that could scale and display content based on the end-user’s screen.
Intriguingly, if you study the code of modern HTML5 web pages, they are normally far simpler than pages written in old versions of HTML—although that is partly down to the fact that much of the code is pre-written in CSS and only called when required.
The process of building a website in HTML5—a basic guide
When building a website, production companies such as ALT Agency, see https://www.altagency.co.uk/services/design/web-design-coventry/, will first design a static layout of the key pages and navigation in software such as Adobe Photoshop or other similar design packages.
In a dynamic site (one that’s easily updatable by the client), the production team will likely also call on other languages such as Active Server Pages (ASP) or Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP), which are scripts processed on the server to produce page content on the fly. The vast majority of websites use either PHP or ASP to serve fresh and updated content to users.
The role of Apple in the mass take-up of HTML5
The future of HTML
As a base language, HTML will continue to evolve to fit the growing and ever-changing needs of its users. As we increasingly see the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), it’s likely we will also see increased integration with artificial intelligence (AI) as sites and web services become smarter and more autonomous. However, from its humble beginnings just 30 years ago, HTML will likely remain the driving force behind most websites and web applications.