Great Resources for Learning HTML5

Remember your first ski trip with friends? Skiing looked easy, so why waste $35 on a group ski class? But by the end of the day, you were in the lodge with an ankle sprain and wet clothes, while your lesson-taking friends were still shooting down the slopes.

HTML5 may look pretty simple, too — after all, you’ve probably been writing code in several languages for years. Why look for formal instruction when you can just pick up learning HTML5 as you go? Because there are great free or low-cost resources to make your experience efficient, productive and pain-free.


HTML5 Rocks is a useful site for learning HTML5 with the best. Ten minutes with slides like these will give you 10 times the benefit of poking around on your own. For example, a quick look shows you how to fit text in a box with the ellipsis appearing:

div {
  text-overflow: ellipsis;

A small problem, sure. But with help, you can solve it in three seconds rather than three minutes.

Another great website is HTML5 Please, which offers useful recommendations for polyfills and implementation. The list of codes to use, avoid or use with caution represents “the collective knowledge of developers who have been deep in the HTML5 trenches.” Why not walk across the safe bridge they’ve built for you?, an “open community of developers building resources for a better Web,” has awesome code snippets and examples to facilitate learning HTML5. Its numerous online classes include several levels of HTML5 instruction. Check out the general materials and reference sections, including API, element, attribute, data type and entity reference tips.

Web developers can also check out this HTML5 cheat sheet that shows what's new, not supported and supported by multiple browsers. 


You can always rely on the For Dummies series as a great way for learning HTML5, but other helpful books are out there as well. Other titles include Bruce Lawson’s Introducing HTML5 and Matthew David’s HTML5 – Designing Rich Internet Applications. You can also find books tailored to your specific need — gaming, website building, etc. — such as Glenn Johnson’s Training Guide: Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3. The good news is that most of these titles won’t set you back more than $30 or $40.


If you’ve never accessed stackoverflow, you’re missing out. Stackoverflow is the source for learning HTML5 problem solving and discussing HTML5 with fellow developers. Other great forums include the education-focused site and the open source site Foundation; at the latter, be sure to check out the “Contribute” section under the Developer tab.


Perhaps it’s time to drag out your suitcase? If you’ve got a hankering for travel, you could be learning HTML5 at a developers’ conference (bonus if it’s held in a cool city). Lobby your boss — or your spouse  — and consider attending one of these:


Taking lesson admitting defeat. There’s no shame in shortening the curve for learning HTML5.

Use the comments section to share your favorite resources for learning HTML5.