A few short years ago, changing your website meant you needed to hire a programmer. The expense was always high and many websites were never changed (practically abandoned) after they were initially created.
Today most, if not all, websites are created using various types of content management systems (CMS for short) that give you, the jewelry store owner, the power to edit your own website.
We understand that the technical stuff behind your website is of complete disinterest to you. You have diamonds to mount, rings to size, employees to worry about, and bills to pay. We know that you are probably a complete neophyte when it comes to web programming, and that's okay.
On the other hand, like a rolling stone through the desert that gathers a little dirt, over time you might have picked up a few little HTML programming tricks, like how to bold or italicize a word; perhaps you learned how to make text larger or smaller, or even change the font. Maybe you even learned how to center words and images on the screen. These are all little HTML programming tricks that were easy to learn.
Unfortunately, many of those little tricks are now dead, or will be dead in HTML 5.
Through our training of other jewelers, we've found many that knew some simple HTML tricks, but those tricks are being phased out, and unless someone clues you in you might find yourself a little lost.
So let's start that clue-in process.
First, we need to tell you about the old HTML stuff that's going away. In yesterday's Nugget ( http://bit.ly/ni5lkL ) we showed you how many different web browsers there are, and how many variations of each browser are being used on the jewelry websites we track.
As new web browsers are released it will be up to the individual companies to continue supporting older HTML 4 and HTML 3 code. We've already noticed that mobile web browsers on smartphones and tablets only support HTML 5. All programs on those smaller devices need to save space and run fast; one way of achieving this is to delete all support for older, outdated technologies.
As of today the current versions of Firefox 6, Internet Explorer 9, Safari 653x, Chrome 14, and Opera 11 support most of the older HTML 3 and HTML 4 features. But each of those browser companies are also in a race to win market share, and one of the things that all users demand is faster web browsing. But "faster" means either a faster computer, or a faster internet connection, or faster software.
One of the easiest ways to achieve faster PC browser software speed is to discontinue support for older, outdated HTML 3 and HTML 4 technologies.
Here's a list of some common pre-HTML 5 "tags" that will not work in HTML 5.
<font> words </font>
This tag was used to set many font attributes like typeface, size and color. There are some good replacements for this now, but they are way more complicated to use and you should just let your CMS handle it all for you. Hopefully your CMS allows you to edit your text as if you are in Microsoft Word or something similar.
<center> stuff </center>
We know this one will cause some real pain. This tag is so simple to use to center content on your web page, and it's very common throughout the web. The easiest alternative is to use this:
but that is even a little too technical for our liking and we hope your CMS will take care of this formatting feature too.
<big> words </big>
We really liked this one. It was the fastest way to make a few words larger in size relative to all the words around it. Alas, it's going to be dead soon too.
There are a bunch of other common formatting features, but those are the 3 common ones we see all the time. Each tag is being replaced with a more powerful, yet more complex coding method using cascading style sheets (CSS).
Instead of learning this new HTML 5 and CSS we suggest you just use a content management system.
The following is one more very detrimental HTML tag that you need to avoid, and remove from your site if you are currently using it.
The Frame and Frameset features of yesterday's HTML were used to split your browser into different windows. The common use was for navigation and headers, but some people used it to show other websites "within" their own website. If your site uses this feature you need to start reprogramming it immediately. Websites with frames are already difficult to use on mobile devices, and if the PC browsers drop support you could end up with a crippled website.
Check out your own website to see if any of these tags are still being used. View the code source on your website and use the CTRL+F search function to look for "<font" and "<big" and "<center" in your code. If you find any of them you should call your web programmer and ask for some type of upgrade help.