HTML5 Rollout Continues: Webmasters, Consumers Benefit

LOS ANGELES — With the latest incarnation of the hypertext markup language gaining increasing support, website creators and viewers are reaping multiple rewards.

There are a wide range of benefits to using HTML5, including improved accessibility, enhanced presentational choices, new options for search engine marketers and increased performance across nearly any compatible device.

Keeping an eye on the status of the evolving standard, XBIZ has selected a few of the newer or lesser-known tags and attributes that you may find useful on your adult website:

For example, HTML5 allows webmasters to specify which of their site’s resources a user is able to modify and to what extent. Here, the contenteditable attribute, with values of true, false or inherit, comes into play. You could use this attribute on form input boxes, and combine it with the new spellcheck attribute, which typically applys a red underline to any misspelled words. Add the autofocus attribute, and the visitor’s cursor will land just where you want it, such as blinking away in that form input box.

Like many HTML5 features, contenteditable and spellcheck are not yet universally supported, but will degrade gracefully on older, less sophisticated browsers, which will simply ignore the commands.

Many designs today make use of various ways to alternately display and hide content, often using “display:  hidden” or “visibility: visible” or similar CSS coding instances. HTML5’s new hidden attribute offers an additional option for hiding content; but as with the display and visibility CSS choices, care must be taken to ensure the correct behaviors — with linking to hidden content and its cross-platform accessibility being concerns.

Of particular interest to adult affiliates is the new sandbox attribute that enables webmasters to specify additional restrictions on the contents of iframes; such as barring forms, links, plugins and scripts from running. Desired functions can be enabled through values such as “allow-links” or “allow-forms” as necessary. Although not yet widely supported, sandbox will help minimize cross-site attacks and enhance overall security.

The use of iframes (inline frames) is commonplace on adult websites, especially those promoting cam or dating sponsors using iframes to show “now online” profile updates.

Such users may also appreciate the new seamless attribute, which specifies that the browser should render the iframe’s content as if it was an integral part of the parent page; without borders, scrollbars, or other indicators that the iframed page is from a different domain or ownership interest — keep in mind that when its used within a commercial context, this blurring of the lines of ownership can be legally problematic. Show your attorney your final design and ask him what he thinks. Care must also be used with link targeting as “_parent” is set by default when seamless is used.

On that topic, link targeting is aided in HTML5 via the addition of the target attribute to the base element, which was previously limited to setting base URLs for relative links. Traditional link target values such as frame names and _blank, _parent, _self, and _top, are all valid for values for the target attribute; which could help some websites that offer large numbers of off-site links that open in new windows, such as a TGP, to streamline its coding, because the link target is set globally within the page’s <head> tag, i.e.:

<base href="" target="_blank">

Finally, another useful new attribute for the script element is async, which commands scripts to execute as soon as they are ready, even before the rest of the page has loaded, allowing script functionality to initiate while the rest of the page loads in the background.

This could be especially handy for firing “popunders” or other advertisements.

There are many other new tools coming with the new standard, and as HTML5 continues its ongoing rollout, XBIZ will cover how it impacts your business needs.

The most important takeaway concerning the immediate future of HTML5 and the current markets’ “readiness” to embrace this new Internet coding standard — which is still years away from its final ratification — is that while many features are incomplete, as a series of incremental enhancements, the progressive additions of HTML5 coding to new or existing websites allows you to take advantage of today’s top feature sets, while preparing for tomorrow’s standards.