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Benjamin Fauchald
Senior Partner

HTML & CSS Services - Morphosis Digital Consultancy

Published on 05 May 2022 in

Of the many technologies available to aid in software development, two, in particular, HTML5 and CSS3, continue to dominate the market—and for good reason. Companies around the world have transitioned to these tools to create the most precise, sophisticated, and user-friendly customer experiences possible. 

As we will discuss below, HTML’s content structure, combined with CSS’s presentation abilities, results in a finished product that is more than the sum of its parts. When expertly deployed, HTML5 and CSS3 bring out the best in one another—and in your digital product. 

HTML and CSS: What are They, and What’s the Difference? 

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) are the two most widely used technologies for developing web pages, apps, and other digital platforms. In basic terms, HTML provides the structure and meaning of the page’s content, while CSS controls its presentation on the screen.

HTML and CSS are often referred to as programming languages, but this is an inaccurate definition. Unlike “true” programming languages like JavaScript, which give the content its functionality and behavior, HTML and CSS simply provide information about the page’s structure and style. This is why, before implementing JavaScript or other scripting tools (such as PHP, Python, and C++), it is vital to develop a firm grasp of these underlying technologies. 

It is important to note that while HTML and CSS work closely together, they must be approached individually as they perform very different jobs within the system. Writing CSS inside an HTML document or vice versa is not advisable, as the site content must be built correctly before being reformatted and styled by CSS.

HTML: The basic building block of the web

A longtime foundation of web development, HTML provides the “raw” information necessary to structure any document that is shown on a web browser. Particularly in its latest iteration, HTML5, the technology is ideal for enhancement and modification by other tools that determine the content’s appearance (such as CSS) and functionality/behavior (such as JavaScript). 

To best understand HTML, it is helpful to break down its terminology. "Hypertext" is the text displayed on the screen (a hyperlink) that refers to related content either within or outside the website. Most often, the user sets off the link by pointing and clicking. This action provides instant access to documents that complement and/or support the information on your web page. The strategic use of hyperlinks strengthens your position in the online community and enriches the user experience. 

HTML uses “markup” to annotate the documents that will be presented to the end-user; these may include text, images, video, and sound. This annotation involves adding notes, comments, and other information that gives further context to each element. As for the term “language,” as noted above, HTML is not the full programming/scripting language it is sometimes considered to be. Instead, it is a markup language that provides structural information and is then assisted by CSS and other technologies that bring it to life. 

An HTML element is activated by specific "tags." A tag is made up of the element’s name bracketed by "<"name">". The name within the tag is case insensitive, meaning the element can be written as <datalist>, <DATALIST>, or any combination of upper- and lower-case letters. Many unique tags distinguish HTML markup from other markup languages; a few of the most commonly used include <title>, <body>, <head>, <article>, <div>, <span>, <aside>, <audio>, <datalist>, <embed>, <nav>, <output>, and <video>. 

The colors, fonts, images, and other design elements you see on your screen when interacting with a web page or app are facilitated by stylesheet languages, the most popular being CSS. CSS describes how a document coded in HTML or XML is presented. CSS builds on the established content structure to create an engaging, cohesive look and feel. 

Like HTML, CSS has become a go-to tool for developing apps, websites, and other digital platforms. Using the W3C specification, CSS is now standardized across all web browsers. It is developed in levels, with CSS3 being the recommended option at this time. Effective use of this language is incredibly important, as the way the page’s elements are presented is as central to user experience (UX) as the content itself. 

CSS is all the more valuable as companies incorporate increasingly more multimedia content into their web platforms, such as video, sound, and animation. CSS is also what enables effective responsive design across different screen sizes and device types. To add yet another advantage, CSS3 is a highly flexible system that makes iteration within the product development process as simple and cost-effective as possible. 

CSS: How the user experiences the content

Why HTML5 and CSS3 Make a Powerful Pairing for Your Business

Now that we have reviewed the basics of HTML, CSS, and how they work together, let’s dive into the business benefits of this impactful and ever-improving partnership. 

  1. Higher ROI 

Utilizing HTML together with CSS eliminates the need to write separate code for individual audience groups, platforms, or screen types. These technologies allow development teams to use one batch of code for many different purposes. This reduces the time and expense of repeating similar work, as well as the need for long-term maintenance. 

  1. Improved SEO 

Well-implemented HTML and CSS drive measurable increases in engine optimization (SEO). The languages work together to produce content of the highest quality, design, and usability, which are now critical to your search engine ranking. Using best practices for semantics and coding standards, HTML5 offers improved features designed to boost your web traffic—drawing in users that, with the right UX, you can convert into happy customers. 

  1. Offline browsing abilities

HTML5 allows development teams to store code locally using the offline application cache. As a result, users can browse and interact with your app, site, or platform without an internet connection. This provides new opportunities for digital brands to capture and hold their target audiences’ attention across an even broader range of use cases. If a potential customers can continue an uninterrupted user flow offline, they are more likely to convert. 

  1. Browser- and device-independent functionality 

Combining HTML5 and CSS3 allows you to create user experiences that look and function flawlessly regardless of the device or browser. Specialized coding techniques leverage these tools’ capabilities to ensure the best possible design on a desktop, phone, tablet, or any other platform. 

  1. Multimedia integration 

HTML5 and CSS incorporate sound and video components to make the user experience even more unique and interactive. The ability to seamlessly embed and manipulate different types of media within the page is creating exciting changes in the industry. Features such as camera API, track and WebVTT, and WebRTC, among others, go a long way in enhancing your UX/UI. 

  1. Identifying customer location 

Apps built using HTML5 allow for geo-location, which has created significant advances for web development. This feature is beneficial for the booming number of delivery and e-commerce websites whose service involves knowing where the customer is. 

  1. Next-Level UX and UI 

CSS3 allows development teams to customize a wider-than-ever range of design factors, including background styling, typography, presentational layouts, animation, borders, and many more. As a result, you can deliver a web experience that looks better, sparks more interest, and achieves a higher conversion rate than the competition.

Summary

More advanced and versatile than ever before, HTML5 and CSS3 have the potential to improve your product development and design process dramatically. When used side by side, these technologies serve to ensure that everything from basic content structure to visual style forms a cohesive whole. HTML and CSS enhance your platform while at the same time minimizing time and costs—and best of all, these open tools are readily available to your business. 

Experts in HTML5, CSS3, and the many evolving technologies that go with them, the Morphosis team is here to help you optimize your web development tool kit. Get in touch with our team below to find out how you can work with Morphosis.

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