Why is HTML not considered programming?

When you try to search for something on the Internet, you will notice some links contains “HTML” at the end. What does it stand for? 

HTML is a shortened name for Hypertext Markup Language. It allows the user to create and structure sections, headings, paragraphs, links, and blockquotes for web pages and applications. But it is not a programming language. Although it cannot create dynamic functionality, it can organize and format documents, similarly to Microsoft Word. 

Tim Berners-Lee, a physicist at the CERN research institute in Switzerland, came up with an Internet-based hypertext system and had invented this HTML. The first version of HTML was published in 1991, consisting of 18 HTML tags. Since then, each new version of the HTML language came with new tags and attributes (tag modifiers) to the markup.


Hypertext refers to a text containing references (links) to other texts that viewers can access immediately. It also refers to the movement around the web by clicking on a particular hyperlink to bring you to the next page. It is called hyper because it is not linear, and you have the freedom to visit any place anytime on the Internet by only clicking on the links. 

Meanwhile, According to Mozilla Developer Network’s HTML Element Reference, there are 140 HTML tags, but some are already obsolete. The introduction of HTML5 in 2014 is the biggest upgrade of the language, which included several new semantic tags to the markup, such as <article>, <header>, and <footer> that reveal the meaning of their own content. HTML has been considered an official web standard due to its popularity. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) develops and maintains the specifications of HTML. Overall, HTML is straightforward and easy to learn even for beginners in website building.

How Does HTML Work?

An author types a series of shortcodes into a text-file, and the document will be saved as an HTML file; thus, filename ends with either html or htm. These HTML documents can only be viewed using any web browsers like Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator, Google Chrome, Safari, or Mozilla Firefox. The browsers can read the file and can convert them into content that internet users can view. 


An average website usually includes several different HTML pages. For example, home pages, about pages, contact pages would all have separate HTML documents.

Every HTML is composed of a set of elements or tags that serve as the building blocks of web pages. They create a hierarchy that structures the content into sections, paragraphs, headings, and other content blocks. Therefore making an HTML requires careful and well-thought tags so you will produce the correct desired output. You can use anything from a basic text-editor to a powerful graphical editor to create HTML pages. Commonly, HTML has an opening and closing that use the <tag></tag> syntax.

The Evolution of HTML

Since its birth, it has gone through many incredible changes as W3C consistently publish new versions and updates while the previous versions already established names. 

The HTML4 or commonly referred to as HTML was published in 1999, but the latest version only came out in 2014. This is the first to include cascading style sheets as part of the HTML standard. It is now reliant on style sheets to provide precise control of data within the page. Since it was published, browsers have moved on, and support for HTML4 is becoming much more consistent between updated browsers.


The HTML5 is the latest evolution with new elements, attributes, behaviors, and a more extensive set of technologies that allow the building of more diverse and powerful Websites and applications. It has features that can support video imbedding and audio. For audio files, you don’t need to use a Flash player because it can merely embed videos and audio files to web pages using the new <audio></audio> and <video></video> tags. It also includes built-in support for MathML for mathematical and scientific formulas and scalable vector graphics (SVG). 

Another better improvement in HTML5 is the introduction of a few semantic. These new semantic tags inform browsers about the meaning of content, which benefits both readers and search engines. The most popular semantic tags are <article></article>, <section></section>, <aside></aside>, <header></header>, and <footer></footer>.