HTML, HyperText Markup Language is the most basic coding language for designing and creating the web pages. HTML is a client side language and is used to create only the static web pages. It is the most widely used language to write the Web pages.

HTML is often referred as a mark-up language, that means it is not used to manipulate the data or provide complex instructions for a website but rather it is used to simply change the look and feel of text and images on a website.

  • Hypertext – It is the way in which the Web pages (HTML documents) are linked together. When you click a link in a Web page it means you are using hypertext.
  • Markup Language – Describes how HTML works. With this, you can simply "markup" a text document with tags that inform the Web browser about how to structure in order to display.

HTML is made up of elements (often called tags) that build the contents of a web page. Moreover, HTML is not a compiled language that is written and used without making any changes to it. A HTML file starts as a text file, and will still be a text file even after being interpreted by a web browser or the user agent.


HTML tags are the hidden keywords within a web page that define how the browser must format and display the content. HTML provides a way of structuring the web page's images and text using HTML tags. These tags work as a pre-set list of instructions that are interpreted by your web browser. The tags can “mark-up” the text in order to provide formatting, spacing, size and distribution on the page.

Most of these tags will have two parts, an opening and a closing part. For example, <html> is the opening tag and </html> is the closing tag. Note that the closing tag has the same text as the opening tag, but with an additional forward-slash (/) character, web browser interprets this as the “end” or “close” character.

HTML tags Examples

  • <p> </p> - For paragraphs
  • <u> </u> - To Underline
  • <table> </table> - For creating table
  • <a> </a> - To embed links to the other web pages
  • <div> </div> - For dividing up sections of a page

There are several hundreds of such tags that play a vital role in formatting and structuring the web page.

HTML Versions

HTML 2.0: HTML 2.0 was published in 1995 and supported by some browsers like Mosaic

HTML 3.2: It was the first W3C recommendation. It had wider support for wide variety of browsers

HTML 4.0 and HTML 4.01:  Version 4.0 was released in December 1997 that added more features and tags with three versions like transitional, strict, and frameset. This was updated to the version 4.01 in December 1999 with a few changes to these specifications.

XHTML 1.0:XHTML 1.0 is a reformulation of HTML 4.01 under XML rules, and it was published as a recommendation by the W3C in January 2000. Most web browsers render XHTML 1.0 documents the same as they render these HTML 4.01 documents.

HTML5: HTM5 was developed in 2004. In this version the HTML and XHTML tree were merged to make HTML a purely XML-based language. With this a new group was created called the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group or WHATWG and then HTML5 became a W3C working draft in 2008.

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