What Is Semantic Coding?

Successful writers master the art of semantics, which is the ability to understand the meaning in language. Semantics defines the core of writing and it requires years of diligent practice and study.
The same principle applies to website development.

MYSQL semantic code

MYSQL Semantic Code

In a web development context, semantics refers to the language markup of the code used to create page layouts and enhance content. Web designers use semantic web page code, according to its meaning and purpose. For instance, heading elements mark up headings, paragraph elements mark up paragraphs, and list elements mark up lists. Each mark up has a specific purpose, an explicit meaning. In essence, semantic web page code states the obvious. The question many inexperienced webmasters ask is “Why state the obvious?”

Code What You Mean

At the beginning of the web design era, cyberspace contained a few websites that used tables to code the entire layout of the site. Tables allowed creative website designers to achieve any layout they wanted via the use of table cells and paragraphs for headings. The men and women responsible for implementing code had few of the tools that web designers have today. Therefore, they had to state the obvious

Contemporary web design requires authors to know every element offered by HTML specs and they must know the meaning of each element. HTML indices cover all of the specs and elements, which give authors a handy guide to refer to during website developmental phases. Authors unsure of what elements to use refer to the “living specs, such as HTML 5. Stating the obvious becomes a natural part of the creation of web page code, a conditioned reflex that early web design pioneers used to create web pages.

Why You Need Semantic Web Page Code

The primary driving force behind semantic web page code is to enable website users to find, gather, and share information. Since webmasters design web pages for people, and not machines, the use of semantic web code allows machines to perform the intricate work involved in acting on information stored throughout cyberspace. This approach has particularly been useful in the fields of science and history, where research driven projects require the use of web page code that provides easy access for machines.

Semantically structured information allows machines to respond to human requests. Semantic web page code integrates varied content applications, and networking systems. It has relevance in online publishing, especially with blogs. By using semantic web page code, you will produce a professional looking design that is readily accessible to visitors. Moreover, maintaining your site becomes easier with the integration of semantic web page code.

Semantics Controlled By You

As HTML elements carry meaning as defined by HTML specs, so do ID and class names. Authors control class names such as microdata, giving them the freedom to work with HTML elements. Author control allows you more leeway in website design, but you need to follow a few simple rules. Try to keep ID and class names to a minimum. Use functional ID and class names, not generic names. Finally, short ID and class names work better than complicated names.

To see how a screen reader interprets your semantics web page code, disable CSS using the Web Developer Tool available in the browsers Google Chrome or Firefox. You can also use W3C’s semantic data extractor tool to provide you insight into the relevance of your HTML code. Peer reviews and user testing also accomplishes semantics interpretation.

Tim Berners-Lee had a vision that semantic web page code would provide users with more accurate search results and website owners the ability to target traffic. The later component of his vision is the ultimate reason why you should consider semantic web page code. As a small business owner, you want your marketing message to target potential customers who want one or more of your products and services. The shotgun approach to marketing wastes business resources and misuses your valuable time. Semantic web page code is another way to target market. You just need to spend the time to learn the code to garner the benefits.

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