HTML

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HTML is the standard markup language for creating Web pages.

  • HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language
  • HTML describes the structure of Web pages using markup
  • HTML elements are the building blocks of HTML pages
  • HTML elements are represented by tags
  • HTML tags label pieces of content such as “heading”, “paragraph”, “table”, and so on
  • Browsers do not display the HTML tags, but use them to render the content of the page

 Simple HTML Document

Example

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<title>Page Title</title>
</head>
<body><h1>My First Heading</h1>
<p>My first paragraph.</p>

</body>
</html>

  • HTML Page Structure

    Below is a visualization of an HTML page structure:

    <html>

    <head>

    <title>Page title</title>

    </head>

    <body>

    <h1>This is a heading</h1>
    <p>This is a paragraph.</p>
    <p>This is another paragraph.</p>

    </body>

    </html>

    The <!DOCTYPE html> declaration defines this document to be HTML5

  • The <html> element is the root element of an HTML page
  • The <head> element contains meta information about the document
  • The <title> element specifies a title for the document
  • The <body> element contains the visible page content
  • The <h1> element defines a large heading
  • The <p> element defines a paragraph

HTML Tags

HTML tags are element names surrounded by angle brackets:

<tagname>content goes here…</tagname>

  • HTML tags normally come in pairs like <p> and </p>
  • The first tag in a pair is the start tag, the second tag is the end tag
  • The end tag is written like the start tag, but with a forward slash inserted before the tag name

HTML Versions

Since the early days of the web, there have been many versions of HTML:

Version Year
HTML 1991
HTML 2.0 1995
HTML 3.2 1997
HTML 4.01 1999
XHTML 2000
HTML5 2014

HTML Elements

An HTML element usually consists of a start tag and end tag, with the content inserted in between:

<tagname>Content goes here…</tagname>

The HTML element is everything from the start tag to the end tag:

<p>My first paragraph.</p>
Start tag Element content End tag
<h1> My First Heading </h1>
<p> My first paragraph. </p>
<br>

Nested HTML Elements

HTML elements can be nested (elements can contain elements).

All HTML documents consist of nested HTML elements.

This example contains four HTML elements:

Example

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<body><h1>My First Heading</h1>
<p>My first paragraph.</p>

</body>
</html>

The <html> element defines the whole document.

It has a start tag <html> and an end tag </html>.

The element content is another HTML element (the <body> element).

<html>
<body><h1>My First Heading</h1>
<p>My first paragraph.</p>

</body>
</html>

The <body> element defines the document body.

It has a start tag <body> and an end tag </body>.

The element content is two other HTML elements (<h1> and <p>).

<body>

<h1>My First Heading</h1>
<p>My first paragraph.</p>

</body>

The <h1> element defines a heading.

It has a start tag <h1> and an end tag </h1>.

The element content is: My First Heading.

<h1>My First Heading</h1>

The <p> element defines a paragraph.

It has a start tag <p> and an end tag </p>.

The element content is: My first paragraph.

<p>My first paragraph.</p>

Do Not Forget the End Tag

Some HTML elements will display correctly, even if you forget the end tag:

Example

<html>
<body><p>This is a paragraph
<p>This is a paragraph

</body>
</html>

Empty HTML Elements

HTML elements with no content are called empty elements.

<br> is an empty element without a closing tag (the <br> tag defines a line break).

Empty elements can be “closed” in the opening tag like this: <br />.

HTML5 does not require empty elements to be closed. But if you want stricter validation, or if you need to make your document readable by XML parsers, you must close all HTML elements properly.


Use Lowercase Tags

HTML tags are not case sensitive: <P> means the same as <p>.

The HTML5 standard does not require lowercase tags, but W3C recommends lowercase in HTML, and demands lowercase for stricter document types like XHTML.

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