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What is HTML?

by Iwan Price-Evans on Web technology • May 24, 2022

HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. It is the language used by web browsers to display information on websites. Web browsers read HTML code and interpret it into something the user sees on the screen.

How Is HTML Structured?

HTML is a markup (or formatting) language that uses tags to define elements within a document. HTML tags classify each element in the document by type, for example, paragraphs, headings, images, tables, forms, or generic divisions or sections.

The structure of HTML elements in a document is called the Document Object Model (DOM).

What Is HTML5?

HTML 5 is a new version of HTML that allows developers to create websites using modern web technologies. This includes features such as responsive design, video, audio, and other multimedia elements. 

HTML5 includes new standards that allow web browsers to display web pages more efficiently. These standards were developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to make web pages easier to read and write.

HTML5 Features

  • New tags for creating interactive elements such as buttons, links, forms, and other user interface controls.
  • A new tag called <canvas> that lets you draw graphics directly onto a webpage.
  • Support for audio and video playback within web pages.
  • Geolocation
  • Local storage
  • Offline support

HTML5 Support

HTML5 has been adopted by major browsers, including Internet Explorer 9, Firefox 3.6+, Safari 5+, Chrome 6+, Opera 11+, and Android 2.2+. This means that almost every browser supports these new features.

Is HTML Used For Styling?

HTML tags by themselves do not tell a web browser how to display the elements. Instead, a web browser applies styles to each element that define attributes like size, position, font, and color.

There are several ways to apply styling to HTML elements.

Inline HTML Styling

You can style HTML elements by adding inline style information in HTML. 

For example:

<p color="red"> This sentence is red. </p>

This applies the color red to the contents of the HTML paragraph tag.

Inline CSS Styling

You can style HTML elements by adding inline CSS style information.

For example:

<p style="color:green;"> This sentence is green. </p>

This applies the color green to the contents of the HTML paragraph tag.

CSS Stylesheet

You can style HTML elements by referring to CSS style information defined in a separate file called a stylesheet.

For example:

<style>

p.blue {

color: blue;

}

</style>

This stylesheet defines the attributes of a paragraph using the class "blue".

<link href="/style.css" as="style">

<p class="blue"> This sentence is blue. </p>

This applies the color blue to the contents of the HTML paragraph tag by referring to the style information contained in the stylesheet.

Scripting

You can style HTML elements using scripting languages such as JavaScript. This method allows developers to reference powerful front-end frameworks for accelerating development, disaggregating the website front-end from the content management system (CMS), and adding dynamic elements and styling to web pages.