Harnessing the power of the internet is something that most, if not all, businesses are striving to do. With the advent of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Flickr (among the most popular), it’s easier than ever to connect with potential customers. However, without a solid, structured approach to this new wave of marketing, your business could very well fall behind the times. This is also true when speaking of your website. There has been much talk around the internet lately of the forthcoming HTML5 and CSS3. Is your business on the forefront of this new technology?
This feature of HTML5 is definitely an exciting one. With geolocation, you are able to determine the location of a user, based on where there ISP is located. That being said, wouldn’t it be nice to give them directions to your office based on their location – instead of them having to manually enter in both addresses. There are other uses for geolocation, of course, such as displaying a list of distributors in their area based on their location.
With HTML5, it will be easier than ever to embed a video into your site; what’s great is that you won’t have to rely on a user having a third-party plug-in installed. Therefore, videos will be faster loading, can reach a larger audience, and can be indexed more effectively by search engines.
Take this into consideration: You are browsing your business’ website and you notice a few content errors on the page. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to log-in, and within a matter of seconds, update the content? With in-content editing, it will be possible; you won’t have to learn any new software or know any new system to edit the page.
Search Engine Optimization
Although you might not see it, the code that makes your websites work has a profound effect on how search engines read your site. Cleaner, more streamlined code helps search engines index your site faster and more efficiently. In turn, your website has a better chance of climbing the search engine ranks.
By using CSS3, we can effectively create website elements with just a few lines of code, rather than a few different images. This does a few different things.
- It’s faster loading, so the user sees the page faster. Along those lines, there are fewer requests to the server, thus resulting in less bandwidth requirements (ultimately saving you money).
- It helps screen readers parse the data easier. Since the reader doesn’t have to load images, it can speak the actual content more quickly to the user and make their experience better.
Rich User Experience
For newer browsers (Firefox, Safari, Chrome), the possibilities of the future are plentiful. However, browsers like Internet Explorer are still lagging behind in their support for these new technologies. That being said, “progressive enhancement” is an option; provide the newer browsers advanced code and features, while the older browsers (that don’t support them) still look nice & function properly, but don’t supply the new features.
The biggest disadvantage to using these technologies at the current time is that not all browsers support every feature. Essentially, some users won’t see the advanced features that others can. However, this can be resolved, to a certain extent – by creating websites that are fully functional and work even if HTML5 & CSS3 isn’t supported. A great analogy is this: HDTV is sent to two TV’s. One TV supports HD, while the other doesn’t. Both TV’s display the same picture, but one is clearer and more rich. That being said, it’s only a matter of time before all browsers can support every feature of this new, exciting technology.
So – is your business capturing the full potential of the internet? Are you providing your users with the most feature rich, interactive options possible?