There’s a lot of talk in the web design world about HTML5 and CSS3. Much of the information seems to go back and forth between promoting active use of these new standards and waiting until they are fully implemented across all browsers. That’s the real breaking point of adopting any new standard; there tends to be major inconsistencies across implementations. But if we waited, would things turn out any differently?

The short answer is most definitely an emphatic “NO!” In the field of technology there will always be inconsistencies. There will always be those who forge ahead and create something amazing, and there will always be those left behind.

HTML5 and CSS3 will be no different.

In this case, early adoption is not such a daunting prospect. Recently, major browsers have made inroads which have allowed them to adapt to emerging standards. This month we saw the release of Internet Explorer 9 and Firefox 9. Both browsers have joined the ranks of Chrome and Safari, arguably the most advanced browsers available today.

Now it’s easier than ever to create a consistent user experience across all browsers.

And what any of these browsers lack in HTML5 and CSS3 adoption can easily be made up with Javascript libraries such as Modernizr. In fact, some of these libraries even target much older versions of the major browsers and bring these new technologies into widespread usage.

Even if you happen to be on a system that’s outdated, one that has javascript turned off, a good developer will still provide fallbacks. That way you can be sure your users can experience your content no matter what type of setup they’re using to view it. The only differences will be in design: some will get to see a more exciting design than others.

So what’s my advice? Go ahead and become an early adopter. Stay on the cutting edge of code, and push on into the future so that you won’t have to play catch-up later. By the time the late adopters catch up to the early adopters, they’re already gone again…off reaping the benefits of the next big advancement.