What is HTML?

HTML is a markup programming language. It is a standardized system for tagging text files to achieve font, color, graphical, and hyperlink effects on Web pages. This article describes an introduction to HTML, basic overview of HTML. Summary of the article:

  • What is HTML?
  • History of HTML
  • HTML Files or HTML Documents
  • HTML Tags
  • HTML Elements
  • HTML Attributes
  • Example of HTML
  • Versions of HTML


What is HTML?
HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) is a markup language for creating web pages. It is written in the form of HTML elements that contains HTML tags. Most elements are written with a start tag and an end tag. Each start tag is surrounded by angle brackets and end tag is also surrounded by angle tag with extra slash. They are also called opening tags and closing tags. Some elements has only one tag for example <img>. The filename extensions of HTML is .html or .htm
Web browser reds the HTML and generate visible output. Browser does not display the HTML tags, but use them to show the content of the page.

History of HTML
The initial version of HTML is release in 1993. It is developed by W3C & WHATWG. The Primary Authors of HTML was Tim Berners-Lee. Lee was assisted by his colleagues at CERN which is an international scientific organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. Later Berners-Lee becomes the director W3C.  The standards for HTML are currently being developed by a worldwide consortium known as World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

HTML Files or HTML Documents
Actually every web page is a HTML file which is just a plain text file without .txt extension. It is made up of many HTML tags as well as the content for a web page. The file name extension of any html file is either .html or .htm. A web site may contain one or more than one html files.
We can create or edit html files in different ways. We can write the code in note pad and save it in .html extension. Also we can use some third party software’s or html editors like: Adobe Dreamweaver, Google Web Designer, Microsoft Visual Studio, Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft Word, Sublime Text, HTML-Kit, TextPad, CoffeeCup HTML Editor, etc.

Hyper Text Markup Language

HTML tags are the hidden keywords surrounded by angle brackets within an html file or web page that defines how the browser must format and display the contents. The web browser does not display the html tags but uses them. Most of the tags must have two parts, an opening part and a closing part. This is also called opening tag and closing tag. The opening tag and closing tag has the same text, but closing tag has an additional forward-slash (/) character. This is the standard rules for any html tag. There are some special tags that don’t follow the standard format and have only opening tag like <img>. The html tags are not case sensitive.

Any html file must have some essential tags, so that web browsers can understand it and display it correctly. Some basic html tags are given bellow:

  • <html></html>
    This tag describes a html document. It also identifies beginning and ending of a html documents. All other tags must be stay inside this tag.
  • <head></head>
    This is the header tag and contains the information about the document that will not appear on the actual page.
  • <title></title>
    This is the title tag and defines the title of the page that will appear in the title bar of your web browser. It must appear between the head tags.
  • <body></body>
    This is the body tag that contains all the information’s and visible contents on the page. All the text, images, links must go between this body tags.

HTML Elements
Every html files are made up by html elements. The html element is everything from the opening tag to end closing tag. An html element can be nested. A general html element is created with an html tag and content. Some special elements have only opening tag. A sample html element is given bellow:


The html element with no content is called empty element like: <br> which represent new lines.

HTML Attributes
The HTML attributes is a property of html elements that is used to customize the html elements. It provides additional information about the html elements. They are always specified within the opening tag and come in name/value pairs like: name=”value”. Most of the attributes are optional and used only when we want to change the default behavior of an elements. An example of html attributes is given bellow:

<p title=”Main”> Welcome to Cybarlab</p>

Some others attributes are: width, height, src, alt, style, value, id, etc

Example of HTML
An example of a HTML is given bellow:

<!DOCTYPE html>

Versions of HTML
HTML have different versions whiches are released in different time. HTML versions and their released dates are given bellow:

  • HTML    1991
  • HTML+    1993
  • HTML 2.0    1995
  • HTML 3.2    1997
  • HTML 4.01    1999
  • XHTML        2000
  • HTML5        2012

HTML is the universal markup language that allows us to create web site. It helps us to format our text, create links, add graphics, sound or video etc. It is very easy to learn. At present the human choices are changing dramatically. For that some supporting languages have been created like: Cascading Style Sheet, JavaScript etc. We should also learn them to walk with world.


  1. By Kamal Hasan


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