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Attention Web Designers, should we design websites with HTML 5 or Not. Let's end this debate once and for all.

Updated on June 22, 2011

Ok, as any web designer who is up on technology trends knows, HTML 5 is now in the mainstream and some self proclaimed web design experts are saying that we should upgrade all of our websites to it while others say that the world is not ready for it yet, so this leads me to believe that there is definitely a debate on whether or not to use HTML 5. We'll discuss the facts later on in this hub.

The big hesitation for some of us to move to designing websites in HTML 5 is the issue that versions of Internet Explorer before version 9.0 are not ready for it yet since Internet Explorer does not recognize the HTML 5 tags yet. I read today that HTML will not be officially ready until 2022. Really? That's 10 1/2 years away and that is how long HTML 4 has been the mainstream, so I know HTML 5.0 is here to stay.

The big question: Should we upgrade to HTML 5 or should we not in spite of Internet Explorer's inability to render it?

Well, since browsers like Opera, Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox all render HTML 5 well, 4 out of 5 browsers aren't too bad, but be careful, because most of the world is still using Internet Explorer. When version 9.0 comes out, this will not be an issue, but what about all the people still using 7.0 and 8.0?

My answer is "Yes", it is OK to upgrade to HTML 5.

There are certain ways to get around the Internet Explorer issue and it involves additional coding, but you get to reap the benefits of what HTML 5 has to offer.

The Javascript Fix:

When we want to use all of the new HTML 5 tags like <header> <footer> <section> <article> and <aside> among others, we can apply the simple Javascript to create the new HTML 5 element so Internet Explorer recognizes it like this:

<script>document.createElement('TAG NAME');</script>

You can use this command to tell Internet explorer to create the element and then style it any way you'd like using CSS.

For the <header> tag, your HTML 5 and CSS can be like this:

<!DOCTYPE html>
  <title>Header test</title>
  header { color:red; font-size:12pt; font-style: italic; }
  <!-- Add this line -->
	Welcome to HTML 5

This would be fine except that it has one major problem: You need to add document.CreateElement() for each and every HTML 5 tag that Internet Explorer needs to know about. Too much coding and not efficient enough for me.

Luckily, I found the HTML Shiv/Shim code from Remmy Sharp that does all the work for us and I understand that some of the web designers know this and some do not: In your <head> tags add this line of Javascript:

<!--[if lt IE 9]>
<script src=""></script>

If you add this line of Javascript, it will take care of communicating with Internet Explorer about your HTML 5 tags.

Bottom Line and In conclusion:

I think there are enough solutions out there to warrant upgrading our websites to HTML 5. I have been doing this now for 3 months after hesitating and I think there is no longer any reason to delay.

What is your opinion? Feel free to comment on this.

You can also learn more about HTML 5 on these hubs:


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    • hotwebideas profile image

      Bruce Chamoff 6 years ago from New York

      Thanks, Chrysanthus. I am not so sure that the release of Internet Explorer 9 would be the answer just yet as most people still have Internet Explorer 6, 7, and 8, sadly. LOL

    • Chrysanthus profile image

      Chrysanthus 6 years ago

      While waiting for IE 9, we can be using this knowledge.


    • Chrysanthus profile image

      Chrysanthus 6 years ago

      Good thinking hotwebideas.