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What Is HTML?

Within programming, we have explored some of the various programming languages and technologies that exist and allow developers to accomplish various tasks. One which we have yet to discuss is the foundation of most websites and web applications – HTML.

HTML, like CSS, is technically not a programming language. HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language and is a markup language that provides structure to the content of a web page in a way that our browsers can understand.

The first version of HTML was created in 1993 and became an official standard in 1999. There have been many versions of HTML with the most current version being HTML5.2.

HTML makes use of ‘Elements’ which are (mostly) comprised of opening and closing ‘tags’ that essentially describe what the content is and how the browser should interpret and display the content.

Some of the most common elements include:

  • <p> – A paragraph tag
  • <img> – An image tag
  • <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, etc – Heading tags

As you can probably imagine, the appropriate tag must be used with the content it encloses for the browser to interpret it properly. Most elements require an opening and closing tag while others are a single tag with attributes included within the tag.

Examples include:

  • <p>Hello World!</p>
  • <img src=”/helloworld.jpg” alt=”Image of Hello World”>

As stated previously, HTML is simply used to define the structure of the page without styling or functionality. It is static by nature and requires CSS to add styling and a language such as JavaScript or PHP to add dynamic functions.