Building a Page with HTML5 - Basics for Beginners

If you've been a bit skeptical on coding with HTML5 or would like to see how quick and easy it really is (you all know we hate change!) here's a basic run through. These are the most common things you'll need to know and basic understandings of tags you'll commonly use, it's that easy!

For a more in depth and updated documentation, check out HTML5 Doctor.

Getting Started

Build Your Page

A few things you might not notice that's different are the DOCTYPE and HTML tag. You'll also notice a conditional for IE (versions lower than 9), to make sure the browser renders the HTML5 tags you'll need to include this IE enabling script which you can download and read more about here on github (easy as that!).


Now you're pretty much set to start using HTML5 tags in your body.

Commonly Used Tags

Header + Nav




I use the nav tag strictly for the main navigation on the page in the header. Anyone have input on this? Is it semantically correct to use the nav tag here in the footer as well?





These are the tags that I use for pretty much all of the sites I build and pretty much the very basics of what you would need to know to build a site. To learn more tags that you can use to semantically organize your content I recommend checking out HTML5 Doctor, it's a great resource!