Coding a CSS3 & HTML5 One-Page Website Template

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Web development is an area in which you have to keep up with the latest technologies and techniques, so that you are at the top of your game. And no wonder - this is an area which changes with an amazing pace. What is the standard now will be obsolete in just a couple of years.

But changes do not come from nowhere. The early adopters are already using what we are going to use day-to-day a few years from now. One of these technologies is HTML5 - the new version of the fundamental language of the web.

Today we are making a HTML5 web template, using some of the new features brought by CSS3 and jQuery, with the scrollTo plug-in. As HTML5 is still a work in progress, you can optionally download a XHTML version of the template here.

Step 1 - The Design

Every design process starts with an initial idea which you later build upon. At this stage, designers usually go with programs such as Photoshop, to work on the details and see how it will all fit together.

i1.png

After this, the design is hand coded with HTML and CSS going hand by hand, moving from designing the background, colors and fonts, to detail work on the content section.

Step 2 - HTML

It is a good time to note, that HTML5 is still a work in progress. It will remain so probably till around 2022 (I am absolutely serious about this). However some parts of the standard are complete, and can be used today.

In this tutorial, we are using a few of the tags introduced with this new version of HTML:

  • header - wraps your page header;
  • footer - wraps your page footer;
  • section - groups content into sections (e.g. main area, sidebar etc);
  • article - separates the individual articles from the rest of the page;
  • nav - contains your navigation menu;
  • figure - usually contains an image used as an illustration for your article.

These are used exactly as you would use normal divs. With the difference being that these tags organize your page semantically. In other words, you can present your content in such a way, that the subject matter of your page can be more easily determined. As a result services, such as search engines, will bring you more targeted visitors and thus boost your revenue (and theirs actually).

However, there are some implications in using HTML5 today. One of the most notable is the IE family of browsers, which does not support these tags (it can be fixed with a simple JavaScript include file though). This is why you should base your decision for moving to HTML5 on your site's audience. And just for this purpose, we are releasing a pure XHTML version of this template as well.

template.html - Head section

<!DOCTYPE html> <!-- The new doctype -->

<html>
<head>

    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />

    <title>Coding A CSS3 &amp; HTML5 One Page Template | Tutorialzine demo</title>

    <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="styles.css" />

    <!-- Internet Explorer HTML5 enabling script: -->

    <!--[if IE]>
        <script src="http://html5shiv.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/html5.js"></script>
        <style type="text/css">

            .clear {
                zoom: 1;
                display: block;
            }

        </style>

    <![endif]-->

</head>

You can notice the new <DOCTYPE> at line one, which tells the browser that the page is created with the HTML5 standard. It is also much shorter and easier to remember than older doctypes.

After specifying the encoding of the document and the title, we move on to including a special JS file that will enable Internet Explorer (any version) to render HTML5 tags properly. Again, this means that if a visitor is using IE and has JavaScript disabled, the page is going to show all messed up. This is why, depending on your audience, you should consider the regular XHTML version of this template, which works in any browser and is released free for all of our readers here.

template.html - Body Section

<body>

    <section id="page"> <!-- Defining the #page section with the section tag -->

    <header> <!-- Defining the header section of the page with the appropriate tag -->

        <h1>Your Logo</h1>

        <h3>and a fancy slogan</h3>

        <nav class="clear"> <!-- The nav link semantically marks your main site navigation -->

            <ul>

                <li><a href="#article1">Photoshoot</a></li>
                <li><a href="#article2">Sweet Tabs</a></li>
                <li><a href="#article3">Navigation Menu</a></li>

            </ul>

        </nav>

    </header>

Here we use the new section tags, which divide your page into separate semantic sections. Outermost is the #page section which is set to a width of 960px in the style sheet (a fairly standard width with older computer displays in mind). After this comes the header tag and the navigation tag.

Notice the href attributes of the links - the part after the hash symbol # corresponds to the ID of the article we want to scroll to.

template.html - Article

    <!-- Article 1 start -->

    <div class="line"></div>  <!-- Dividing line -->

    <article id="article1"> <!-- The new article tag. The id is supplied so it can be scrolled into view. -->

        <h2>Photoshoot Effect</h2>

        <div class="line"></div>

        <div class="articleBody clear">

            <figure> <!-- The figure tag marks data (usually an image) that is part of the article -->

                <a href="https://tutorialzine.com/2010/02/photo-shoot-css-jquery/">
                    <img src="https://tutorialzine.com/img/featured/641.jpg" width="620" height="340" /></a>

            </figure>

            <p>In this tutorial, we are creating a photo shoot effect with our just-released PhotoShoot jQuery plug-in. With it you can convert a regular div on the page into a photo shooting stage simulating a camera-like feel.</p>

            <p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Integer luctus quam quis .... </p>

        </div>

    </article>

    <!-- Article 1 end -->

The markup above is shared between all of the articles. First is the dividing line (the best solution semantically would be an <hr> line, which in HTML5 has the added role of a logical dividing element, but unfortunately it is impossible to style in a cross-browser fashion, so we will stick with a DIV). After this we have the new article tag, with an unique ID, which is used by the navigation to scroll the page.

Inside we have the title of the article, two paragraphs and the new figure tag, which marks the use of images in the article.

template.html - Footer

        <footer> <!-- Marking the footer section -->

            <div class="line"></div>

            <p>Copyright 2010 - YourSite.com</p> <!-- Change the copyright notice -->
            <a href="#" class="up">Go UP</a>
            <a href="https://tutorialzine.com/" class="by">Template by Tutorialzine</a>

        </footer>

    </section> <!-- Closing the #page section -->

    <!-- JavaScript Includes -->

    <script src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.3.2/jquery.min.js"></script>
    <script src="jquery.scrollTo-1.4.2/jquery.scrollTo-min.js"></script>
    <script src="script.js"></script>

    </body>

</html>

Lastly, we have the footer tag, which does exactly what you expect it to do. At the bottom of the page are the rest of the JavaScript includes, which add the jQuery library and the scrollTo plug-in, which we are going to use in the next steps.

i2.png

Step 3 - CSS

As we are using HTML5, we have to take some extra measures with the styling. The tags that this new version of HTML introduces, are not yet provided with a default styling. This is however easily fixed with a couple of lines of CSS code and the page works and looks as it is supposed to:

styles.css - Part 1

header,footer,
article,section,
hgroup,nav,
figure{
    /* Giving a display value to the HTML5 rendered elements: */
    display:block;
}

article .line{
    /* The dividing line inside of the article is darker: */
    background-color:#15242a;
    border-bottom-color:#204656;
    margin:1.3em 0;
}

footer .line{
    margin:2em 0;
}

nav{
    background:url(img/gradient_light.jpg) repeat-x 50% 50% #f8f8f8;
    padding:0 5px;
    position:absolute;
    right:0;
    top:4em;

    border:1px solid #FCFCFC;

    -moz-box-shadow:0 1px 1px #333333;
    -webkit-box-shadow:0 1px 1px #333333;
    box-shadow:0 1px 1px #333333;
}

nav ul li{
    display:inline;
}

nav ul li a,
nav ul li a:visited{
    color:#565656;
    display:block;
    float:left;
    font-size:1.25em;
    font-weight:bold;
    margin:5px 2px;
    padding:7px 10px 4px;
    text-shadow:0 1px 1px white;
    text-transform:uppercase;
}

nav ul li a:hover{
    text-decoration:none;
    background-color:#f0f0f0;
}

nav, article, nav ul li a,figure{
    /* Applying CSS3 rounded corners: */
    -moz-border-radius:10px;
    -webkit-border-radius:10px;
    border-radius:10px;
}

We basically need to set the display value of the new tags to block, as you can see from the first couple of lines. After this we can style them as we would do with regular divs.

We style the horizontal lines, the articles, and the navigation buttons, with the latter organized as an unordered list inside of the nav tag. At the bottom we assign the border-radius property for four different types of elements of once, which saves a lot of code.

styles.css - Part 2

/* Article styles: */

#page{
    width:960px;
    margin:0 auto;
    position:relative;
}

article{
    background-color:#213E4A;
    margin:3em 0;
    padding:20px;

    text-shadow:0 2px 0 black;
}

figure{
    border:3px solid #142830;
    float:right;
    height:300px;
    margin-left:15px;
    overflow:hidden;
    width:500px;
}

figure:hover{
    -moz-box-shadow:0 0 2px #4D7788;
    -webkit-box-shadow:0 0 2px #4D7788;
    box-shadow:0 0 2px #4D7788;
}

figure img{
    margin-left:-60px;
}

/* Footer styling: */

footer{
    margin-bottom:30px;
    text-align:center;
    font-size:0.825em;
}

footer p{
    margin-bottom:-2.5em;
    position:relative;
}

footer a,footer a:visited{
    color:#cccccc;
    background-color:#213e4a;
    display:block;
    padding:2px 4px;
    z-index:100;
    position:relative;
}

footer a:hover{
    text-decoration:none;
    background-color:#142830;
}

footer a.by{
    float:left;

}

footer a.up{
    float:right;
}

In the second part of the code, we apply more detailed styling to the elements. A width for the page section, a hover property for the figure tag and styles for the links inside of the footer. There are also a few styles that are not included here, but you can see them in styles.css.

Now lets continue with the next step.

i3.png

Step 4 - jQuery

To enhance the template, we will create a smooth scrolling effect once a navigation link has been clicked, using the scrollTo jQuery plug-in that we included in the page earlier. To make it work we just need to loop through the links in the navigation bar (and the UP link in the footer) and assign an onclick event which will trigger the $.srollTo() function, which is defined by the plug-in.

script.js

$(document).ready(function(){
    /* This code is executed after the DOM has been completely loaded */

    $('nav a,footer a.up').click(function(e){

        // If a link has been clicked, scroll the page to the link's hash target:

        $.scrollTo( this.hash || 0, 1500);
        e.preventDefault();
    });

});

With this our template is complete!

Wrapping it up

In this tutorial, we leveraged the new semantic features provided by HTML5, to design and code a one-page web template. You can use it for free both personally and commercially, providing you leave the back link intact.

If you like this tutorial, be sure to check out our twitter stream as well, where we share the latest and greatest design and development links.

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