HTML 5 is the fifth, latest and most enhanced version in the Hyper Text Markup Language series. It succeeds XHTML, XHTML 1.0, XHTML 1.1 and HTML 4.01. It is a standard used for structuring and presenting content on the World Wide Web. HTML consists of the HTML code, which provides the structure, JavaScript that make things happen and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), that handles presentation.

HTML5 was designed to improve the markup language by integrating features like drag and drop and video playback which were previously reliant on Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Flash and other third party plugins to run.

Since HTML5 contains features designed with consideration towards low powered devices it has become a candidate forcross-platform mobile applications.

Background and History

The markup language for the World Wide Web has always been HTML; it was originally created as a language used to describe scientific documents. Over the years its design has enabled it to be used as a method to describe other types of documents. TheWeb Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHAWG) which was an umbrella that consisted of Opera, Apple and Mozilla joined with the World Wide Web Consortium(W3C) who worked together on the development of HTML 5 and decided to base it on various principles. The WHAWG was based on such principles that included ensuring it was backward compatible, meaning HTML5 can be used successfully with data from earlier HTML versions, and that implementations and specifications needed to match without reverse-engineering each other. In 2007 another working group was formed to work with the WHAWG on the HTML5 specifications. The umbrella allowed the new specification to be published under the W3C copyright but kept a version with a less restrictive licence on the WHATWG website. This standard was the beginning of work for the new working group, and the WHATWG presented the first Working Draft of the specification publicly in 2008.

New Features

Canvas: This assists a two-dimensional drawing surface with which JavaScript can be programmed.

Audio and Video: These elements help to embed graphics and multimedia content to the web pages such as <audio> and <video> without relying on third party plugins.

Geolocation: With this feature, visitors can choose to share their location with your web application.

Drag and Drop: You can now drag and drop items on the same page from one location to the other.

To improve document content, page elements such as <article>, <header>, <main>, <footer>, <nav> and <footing> have been introduced, While other elements such as <menu> and <cite> have been changed.

What Does It Do?

HTML5 can deliver impressive graphics to a website, enable a page handle high definition videos and also write web applications that still work regardless if you’re connected to the internet or not; telling websites where you physically are.

Browser Support

All the new versions of Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera, support HTML5 features, and there is also support for HTML5 functionality on Internet Explorer 9.0. The web browsers on mobile phones that come pre-installed on Apple and Android phones contain support for HTML5.

HTML5 Elements

Elements in HTML5 are marked by using start tags (<) and end tags (>). The tags are specified by angle brackets opening and closing, with the tag in-between both brackets. The variation in start and end tags is that the end tag contains a slash before the tag name to denote ending

For example

Start Tag: < a >

End Tag: < /a >

Tag names are not case sensitive and can be written in either upper or lowercase, but it is advisable to write tag names in lowercase for easy recollection.

HTML5 Attributes

Some attributes can be used on any element, while some are defined for specific elements. Elements contain attributes, which are used to set their properties; all attributes contain a name, value and can only be stated in a start tag and never in end tags. HTML5 attributes, just like tag names are not case sensitive and could be written in upper lower or mixed case. However, it is still advisable to stick to all lowercase. Almost all HTML5 tags support the standard attributes such as (align, class and background). A new feature it permits is for users to create their own custom data attributes.


The W3 presented a logo to the public in 2011, announcing that this HTML5 logo represented a “general-purpose visual identity for a wide set of web technologies, which included CSS, WOF, SVG and HTML5”. Web standard advocates who stated that the representation of HTML5 presented a potential for miscommunication then criticised it, pointing out that HTML5 as an umbrella term was a blurring terminology. The W3C then responded three days later and changed the logos definition saying that the logo “represented HTML5 as a cornerstone for modern web applications”.

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