What Is HTML5 And Why Does It Matter?

By C&EN Media Group

Reading Time: 5 minutes

As marketers and advertisers in the scientific community, we are concerned with engaging the minds of the scientists and administrators that populate our industry. And while it is important to have an understanding of the various disciplines on which we will focus our marketing efforts, we don’t need to know the down-and-dirty details that make a scientific field work. To put it simply, we don’t have to have a chemistry degree, but we do have to have knowledge of the wants and needs of those who do.

A similar statement could be made about the tools we use: We don’t have to know the ins-and-outs of how a specific form of media is produced (that’s what the professionals are for), but we do have to know how it can be used to achieve our purposes.

Nowhere is this more important than in the field of digital marketing. While print media (still a valuable tool) hasn’t changed much in the last 100 years, digital media continues to evolve rapidly, take on new shapes, and push the boundaries of what is possible. Staying knowledgeable about these new shapes and new boundaries is important if we want our scientific digital marketing campaigns to be successful.

So, What is HTML5?

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HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language and is defined as a standardized system for formatting text files to achieve font, color, graphic, and hyperlink effects. In layman’s terms, HTML is used for producing content on the World Wide Web (be it on conventional desktop computers or on mobile devices).

HTML5, as it sounds, is the fifth iteration (or version) of the HTML standard. It was adopted in October 2014 to replace HTML4 which had been introduced in 1990. Just think about that for a moment: the last major change to the language occurred almost twenty-five years ago. That’s a quarter of a century! The graphical web browser that has become so ubiquitous today, hadn’t even been invented yet (and wouldn’t be for another three years). Back then, the internet, as it applied to the population at large, was relatively unknown. Most people didn’t have email, and cell phones were still the size of paperback books. A lot has changed since then so the introduction of a new programming language to accommodate these advances is an important next step.

Why Does HTML5 Matter to Me?

For those in the scientific marketing sphere, this is, perhaps, the most important question. Why does a programming language affect what we as advertisers do? It affects what we do because HTML5 provides the means by which users can get information anywhere, anytime, at the speeds to which they are accustomed. Sure, it was possible with HTML4, but HTML5 makes it oh so much easier. Here’s how.

» HTML5 Offers Mobile Support

science marketing html5

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Gone are the days of programming for desktop in one language and mobile in another. Now marketers don’t have to worry about desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. They don’t have to worry about things like which operating system a device will use or what native applications may conflict—HTML5 supports, and interacts with, it all. That means you (as a marketer) can get your message and your content where it needs to be, and looking like it should, regardless of device or platform. HTML5 makes all that possible.

» Development Is Fast And Cheap

All things being equal, this may be the reason that marketers (and certainly developers) will find HTML5 so valuable: it makes development easier. That means you can move from concept to development to final product in a fraction of the time it would take using HTML4 (or some other programming language). That, in turn, can have a major impact on your project’s bottom line. Basically, HTML5 provides more bang for less buck which is a win-win for all involved.

» HTML5 Can Do It All

HTML4 and earlier versions required third-party plugins—like Microsoft Silverlight, Java, and Adobe Flash—to get things done. That means that if you wanted your content to support animation, geolocation, and user-interaction, you had to rely on programs (apps or applets) that could cause conflicts and create potential problems. With HTML5, you can do all these things (and more) without the need for extra plugins. Native elements now include video, audio, and support for scalable vector graphics (SVG) and mathematical formulas (MathML) which could be of particular use to those in the scientific marketing niche.

» HTML5 Enhances User Experience

The fact that HTML5 can do it all leads us to our next reason why it matters: user experience. HTML5 is a vast improvement when it comes to visual styling and reduces the time and effort needed to produce things like shadows and round corners. Now these visual elements can be produced with just a few lines of code. In addition to decreasing the coding necessary to achieve these effects, HTML5 reduces the overall size of the website. It does this by minimizing the number of images and other files required to make your content look good. A lighter-weight HTML5 website loads faster, looks better and is more more interactive than its predecessors.

» HTML5 Is Becoming The New Standard

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If none of the other reasons why HTML5 matters convince you to put it to use, this one should. HTML5 is taking over (as it was intended to do) and will soon be the only option available (at least for another quarter century).

You can hold on to the previous way of doing things like you held on to your VHS (or BetaMax) player, but sooner or later, you’re going to have to let it go and move to more modern technology. Why not start now? It’s not as difficult as you might think and doesn’t require a complete redesign. Converting your existing web content to HTML5 is just a matter of replacing the old HTML code (for things like videos, animation, and appearance) with the new, streamlined HTML5 code. And any new rich media ad should be built in HTML5 to start. Talk to a web development professional for further details.

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HTML5 For Your Ads: What You Need To Know

1.  HTML5 is open and accessible, meaning it uses the same technology that is used to build web pages.
2.  HTML5 is leaps and bounds ahead when it comes to mobile ads.
3.  HTML5 is backed by Google and its “Google Web Designer” software.
4.  HTML5 makes it easy to size images and other components for different size displays.
5.  HTML5 offers advanced tracking and metrics that can make tweaking your ad and getting it where it needs to go even easier.


Don’t Try To Paddle Against The Current

As mentioned above, HTML5 is set to be the new standard in web development. Device companies, browser companies, development companies, and the coding community as a whole have given their support to HTML5. It’s the newest tech out there and, as such, everyone wants to use it.

As marketers, we want to make use of every tool available to get our message in front of the right people and help them see how our product or service is for them. HTML5 is that new tool and it can take your scientific marketing campaigns to levels undreamed of until now…if you let it.

We want to hear from you:

Got an HTML5 success story? We’d love to hear about it below.

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