Web pages are made of text documents written with some code in it. The name of the code is HTML, and it stands for Hyperlink Text Mark-up Language. It was invented in the early 1990s.

HTML is not a programming language itself. It just uses some standard codes to help computers show on a screen or paper what the author has published. This makes HTML very easy to learn, as it doesn't require background knowledge on any programming language.


Since its invention in the 1990s, HTML has evolved in many ways. Today, this has evolved until giving us three different ways to write it. The standard HTML, the XML variant called XHTML, and the upcoming new standard, HTML5.

You can use any of them indistinctly. Moreover, this set of web documents will try to comparatively teach you how to use HTML in the three versions. Mind, in a very basic manner.

How is HTML structured

A web document —regardless of the version you are using— compose the mark-up resembling the structure of a letter. First, you will write the head information, and in it designers include some basic information about the content of the document, such as its title. Then, you will write the body, which is the document itself.

In any case, you must know the Internet is first and above all a written means of communication, a language of text.

The difference between HTML, XHTML and HTML5

There is one thing to highlight to finish this introduction, and it is the difference between the three ways to write HTML.

+ All HTML variants open the instruction tags with <> closes them with </>. e.g. <p>text</p>
+ XHTML obliges you to close all tags, even those which do not require to be closed in standard HTML, like <br />.
+ HTML5 introduces new ways to write code, so the syntax for them might vary a little.

More in the next articles of this series, How to make a web page.

Learn + Computers and the Internet + Web development