19 HTML5 Advantages and Disadvantages

HTML5 is the fifth new revision of the hypertext markup language, which is the code which is used to describe webpages. It contains three elements: the HTML code, which offers structure; Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), which provides the presentation elements; and JavaScript, which allows the website to operate.

The goal of HTML5 is to deliver just about everything you’d ever want to do with a website without the requirement of additional plugins for the browser. It allows for the inclusion of apps, animation, movies, and music. Most browsers include support for HTML5 already, though different browsers may support different things.

If you’re thinking about website creation, then HTML5 is a language that you’re probably going to use anyway. Here are the advantages and disadvantages you will be facing if you follow through with that decision.

List of the Advantages of HTML5

1. HTML5 isn’t a proprietary code.

You are not required to pay royalties if you decide to use HTML5 for your website. It’s cross-platform, which means you can use it on virtually any device. It works the same whether you access a website through a desktop, a laptop, a smartphone, or even your television. As long as the browser you are using supports HTML5, then there is a good chance that it will work as it should.

2. It provides audio and video support.

Through the use of the CANVAAS element, you are able to run a lot of different components through your website that used to require an embedded application or installed software on the user side. That means HTML5 allows you to generate dynamic graphics, incorporate online games, and use interactive video. There are even offline games and video that are now possible thanks to what HTML5 provides.

3. The coding with HTML5 is clear and consistent.

If you grew up in the 1990s and learned coding then, you will appreciate the cleanliness of HTML5’s coding profile. It is simple, straight-forward, and very easy to read. You can quickly separate the content from the style, making it easier to compose code that is descriptive and clear. It doesn’t take long for new coders to learn the language either with this structure, which means anyone with a passion in this area can follow it.

4. There is more consistency with websites because of HTML5.

You’ll still find various iterations of the different HTML versions sprinkled throughout the internet. As more websites come over to HTML5, however, you’ll see from a user standpoint that there is much more consistency with the internet experience from the user perspective. Many websites are even using similar code to accomplish very different goals, which quickens the loading experience without duplicating it for users. This also makes it much easier for developers to understand one another from a structural standpoint.

5. There are more page layout elements available for your content.

If you’ve grown familiar with the older versions of HTML, then you know what your options are already: Div, Heading, Paragraph, and Span. With HTML5, you’ve got a lot of elements to play around with when designing your page layouts. Headers, footers, areas, and sections are all available to you. That makes it possible to develop a page with representative mark-ups that guide users through the purpose of the content they are encountering.

6. It offers search engine optimization benefits.

As late as 2010, it was possible to generate some solid organic results from search engines by stuffing a ton of keywords into your content. If you assigned the right design elements to distinguish yourself from the competition, you could almost guarantee a top ranking for clicks. Today’s SEO is more about value than anything else, which HTML5 complements nicely. Because you can construct semantically with this version, you’re able to maintain your coding with higher levels of reliability. That means real content, not repetitive content, pushes you higher in the rankings, creating the potential for higher conversions.

7. HTML5 requires less maintenance than other options.

HTML5 utilizes an open-source programming language that is almost universally known. That means you can find the support you need for troubleshooting online on your own. It also means that you’ll be going through fewer maintenance issues over time because updates to the coding can be updated in real-time. If you have an app that is live on the app store, you don’t need to resubmit your product. Just update the code and it will populate itself to those who are using your product.

8. The storage options with HTML5 are more reliable.

With HTML5, you have the ability to store user-side data temporarily within a SQL database. That moves you away from the need to incorporate cookies, which is a definite advantage thanks to changes in privacy laws in Europe. You’ll also find that many users prefer being able to use a website that offers an offline application cache, since they can reload previous websites they have visited – even if they happen to be offline at that time.

9. It eliminates the need for multiple developments.

From a business perspective, HTML5 is all about saving you time and money. Because it is able to be deployed across multiple platforms, you are no longer forced into a world where multiple code variations are required to make your business available to customers. You can develop once, using the same code, while being able to approach multiple markets. That means your lifetime costs for development can be much less compared to how previous structures were implemented.

10. All compatible browsers collect and use data.

When you’re using HTML5 from a mobile perspective, you still have the ability to collect useful data, collate it, and then use it to reach your metrics and goals. That means you can have multiple people using multiple devices and different browsers while knowing that your results are going to be the same. The user experience may be slightly different with each browser, though the HTML5 experience is virtually the same for anyone on any compatible device and browser.

11. It performs well with excellent consistency.

With HTML5, you’re eliminating the need to have plugins downloaded to play games or interact with your website. Remember when you’d need to click on that “update Flash” link on a website? That issue goes away. Although not every browser will support every possible feature available within the language of HTML5, you’ll find that users are willing to avoid small hiccups in functionality because of the ease of access that is provided with this efficient coding language.

12. It offers a modern user experience.

If you were to directly compare HTML5 with WebGL or platform native development, you might find that the performance is not as strong when compared to other available options. The frame rates for graphics are where they need to be. The animation is crisp and pure, eliminating the latency sometimes seen in previous versions. Video and sound are good as well. It may not be a complete replacement of all platforms. It is an excellent all-around alternative to considered.

List of the Disadvantages of HTML5

1. There are different video supports for HTML5.

No one could really agree on what the standard video support should be within HTML5. That means there is a hodge-podge of different video supports out there today that are based on the browser you prefer to use. There are three primary video formats currently used: Ogg Theory, H.264, and VP8/WebM. The first is supported by everything except Internet Explorer. The second is supported by everything except Firefox. As for the third, it is fully supported by everything, though it may require a manual installation.

2. It requires modern browsers to access it.

If you have users trying to access your website through an older browser, then you’re not going to be able to reach them. There is a definite lack of compatibility with Internet Explorer which must be addressed. From a business perspective, if your website visitors are not able to access a fully functional website, that creates a problem. They’re not going to blame their older browser or IE. They’re going to blame you.

3. There are media licensing issues which must be considered.

Your rich media is offered in compressed, multiple formats because of the wide range of browser compatibility you might encounter. That means there are media licensing issues which you must take into consideration. If you’re using multiple formats for your media and paying for your licenses, you’ll need to pay for multiple audio and video licenses to ensure all your needs are covered. That also means you’ve got more coding work to do.

4. Multiple device responsiveness can be a headache.

The goal of creating a modern website is to have it look the same, no matter what device is being used or what browser is preferred by the user. Many templates allow for automatic responsiveness, which reduces the need for HTML5 coding knowledge, though it does cause many websites to look the same. If you’re developing a website, you must view your content on all device types and browsers to ensure it looks the same because there is always a chance that it won’t render as it should.

5. The language of HTML5 is always a work in progress.

Although some may see this as an advantage, the constant development of the actual language contained in HTML5 requires you to be on your toes. The language itself is quite stable, which means you may find yourself with unexpected changes in your coding that render your website useless until you get them fixed. In theory, anything could change at any time. In reality, this is more of a threat than a true disadvantage at the moment, though it must be taken into consideration.

6. Gaming struggles with JavaScript under HTML5.

JavaScript is the only scripting language of HTMl5. It is a very capable language, ideal for numerous applications. From a gaming perspective, however, there is a lack of features which are necessary for a strong gaming experience. Custom name spaces, member access, interfaces, and inheritance all struggle under JavaScript. There are plenty of work-arounds available which are suitable to get your work done. It is not, however, a first-choice language option from a purely gaming standpoint.

7. There are zero good IDEs available in HTML5.

Although this disadvantage may change in the future, the integrated development environments available with HTML5 are average at best. If you know what you’re doing, then just do your thing and development testing will be fine. For beginners or coders who haven’t been in the game for a while, you’ll find that there aren’t many good processes available to you for asset integration. It’s a bit of a seat-of-your-pants experience, even though it was initially released in 2014.

If you’re getting into website development or looking for ways to update your older site, then HTML5 is going to be the most efficient option available to you. Although it may not be perfect for every possible solution, you’ll find that the advantages and disadvantages of HTML5 limit the negatives, accentuate the positives, and give you a simple platform that highlights all of your strengths.