Get started by adding support for microformats to your website, services, and products.
Microformats are based on simple markup conventions that enable you to add meaningful structure to your web content.
One of the key principles of microformats, is to privilege human readable content. This means that you should think first and foremost of your content design being readable and accessible to web viewers. Using the most appropriate HTML elements and applying structured class names to your markup enables you to produce content that can be clearly understood by a human audience and also used in a structured way by automated programs and other online tools. But the point is that you shouldn't have to go out of your way to produce such machine friendly markup - microformats make it easy to integrate this greater degree of structure into your websites, without the overhead of having to learn complicated new languages or formats.
The best way to understand microformats is to start using them straight away. Since they're embedded in ordinary HTML, you can take existing pages and add these structured class names to the markup, but it's recommended that when doing this, you also take a close look at the overall tag structure that you're using - maybe there is a better way to say what you mean using basic HTML tags.
Many common kinds of content can be marked up in microformats. Microformats are designed to be similar to current markup styles. Chances are, you already have some of them on your site. Start with the obvious ones. For example a simple, and very popular place to start is with hCard - a microformat for displaying personal and organizational contact details. You can think of hCard as a way to embed mini business cards in web pages, but glancing over the examples shows a lot more possibilities than just that. Here are some specific places to start using microformats today:
- add hCard to your contact info page along with an "Add to address book" link
- add hCard+XFN to your friends list or blog roll
- add your website and contact page to the hCard Examples in the wild page.
using the hCard creator if you wish.
If you have a blog:
- Contact info. Every company or organization has a contact or about page of some sort on their website. Read hCard authoring tips and add hCard to the contact/about pages along with "Add to address book" links for each hCard.
- Employee directory. If your company has a page listing employees or others that belong to the organization, add hCard to the listings or search results.
- add those pages with hCards to the hCard Examples in the wild page.
Use hCalendar anywhere on the website that publishes event information. Start with the hCalendar creator.
If your organization publishes its history, mark up the events noted with hCalendar, thus allowing anybody to build a dynamic timeline application with your history.
Does your company make any products that generate HTML?
- Make sure such products generate POSH and whenever possible, the appropriate microformats.
- Then add those products to the Microformats Implementations page.
Wondering how to use microformats in an enterprise scenario?
Any publication of information about people, events, reviews etc. could benefit from being marked up with hCard, hCalendar, and hReview respectively.
- Do you have an explicit copyright license on your content? Then markup the link to your license with rel="license".
- Do you publish social network / relationship info? Then mark that up with XFN.
- Are you tagging things? Then use rel="tag" (for your own stuff) or xFolk RC1 (for tagging any URL).
- Are you publishing lists or outlines? Then use XOXO 1.0: Extensible Open XHTML Outlines.
- Do you publish reviews? Then use hReview 0.4 (in progress).
- Start with the hReview creator.
- Do you publish press releases? Then use hAtom.
Once you have added microformats support to your website and helped your company and organization do so as well:
- Advocate the use and support of microformats on other sites as well.
And here are a few more tips:
- Class for meaning not for show
- Semantic XHTML
- Meaningful XHTML
- Real World Semantics
Read about how to Get Started in additional languages: