Making a case for HTML5 investment

©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.

eMedia Vitals

HTML5 promises to get publishers closer to digital media’s Promised Land: create once, deliver everywhere. As deployments increase and the standard evolves, media companies are finding it. At last week’s MPA Digital: Technology conference in New York, media executives and vendors discussed HTML5’s potential and some of the early lessons they’re learning from their HTML5 projects. The consensus: HTML5 enables publishers to maximize resources as content distribution expands across an ever-expanding variety of tablets and smartphones. HTML5 also provides investment protection against future devices in a mobile market that is still forming.

Some publishers are already re-building their digital foundations around HTML5, having justified that responsive design and web apps are more cost-effective than native, device-specific apps. “Finding iOS programmers can be expensive,” said Don Peschke, CEO of August Home Publishing, which is transitioning its portfolio of woodworking, garden, cooking and home improvement websites to HTML5.

Executives added several other reasons to begin making the transition to HTML5, including:

Less code. A common code base for web and mobile environments will reduce the amount of code that developers need to maintain, thereby decreasing the chances of errors that lead to broken links or other negative user experiences. IDG’s Consumer & SMB group, for example, is consolidating its PCWorld.com,Macworld.com and new TechHive.com websites around a common HTML5 code base – which Chief Technology Officer Aaron Jones estimates will be about 20% the size of the existing code base just for PCWorld.com.

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