What is HTML and How to Use It

What is HTML? – Clearly Explained

The Hypertext Markup Language (HTML, English for hypertext markup language) is a text-based markup language for structuring electronic documents such as texts with hyperlinks, images, and other content. HTML documents are the basis of the World Wide Web and are displayed by web browsers. In addition to the content displayed by the browser, HTML files can contain additional information in the form of meta-information, e.g. B. about the languages ​​used in the text, the author, or the summarized content of the text.

HTML is being further developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG). The current version has been HTML 5.2 since December 14, 2017, which is already supported by many current web browsers and other layout engines. The Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML) is also replaced by HTML5.

HTML serves as a markup language to structure a text semantically, but not to format it. The visual representation is not part of the HTML specifications and is determined by the web browser and design templates such as CSS. Exceptions are the presentation-related elements marked as deprecated.

In short with an easier explanation for HTML’s definition:
The term “HTML” stands for “Hypertext Markup Language”. This is the format in which websites are written.
The creator of the website writes the text of a website in an HTML file. Text can be structured and formatted with the HTML file (e.g. font size and font). You can also link to other websites via HTML or add pictures, videos, or background noise to your text.
Browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer read the HTML file in a fraction of a second and then display it graphically.

You can right-click in a free area on this website and select the option “Save as” or “Save page as”. You can then download the HTML file from this website and view the bare code in the editor. In addition to the individual words, you will always find commands for links or images. You can also right-click and select the Inspect in Chrome or select the Inspect Element in Firefox to examine the HTML Document of the web page where you are at.

How and why is HTML being developed?

Before the development of the World Wide Web and its components, including HTML, it was not possible to exchange documents electronically, quickly and in a structured manner between several people and to link them efficiently. In addition to transmission protocols, an easy-to-understand text labeling language was required. This is exactly where HTML started. In order to share research results with other employees of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and to make them accessible from the two locations in France and Switzerland, a project was created in 1989 at CERN that dealt with the solution of this task. The first version of the HTML specification was released on November 3, 1992.

Who Invented HTML?

As we said in the previous section, HTML was created because scientists wanted to communicate with each other about their research during the period of digitalization. Contents from scientific work should be able to refer to each other and the respective textual awards, such as headings or formatting, should be passed on consistently. On the basis of this idea, HTML was proposed on March 13, 1989, by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN in Geneva. This simple means enabled cross-institute and even cross-country references to other publications in other documents. The foundations of the World Wide Web were laid. In no time at all, HTML became the standard language for websites on the Internet.

What does the acronym HTML stand for?

The abbreviation HTML stands for the English definition “Hypertext Markup Language”, in German for example “Hypertext Markup Language”. The abbreviation exactly describes the original intention behind Berners-Lee’s invention. It was about the uniform labeling or labeling of text documents to enable a better exchange of knowledge from scientists from all over the world. Berners-Lee also invented the possibility of referencing using so-called “links” – that is, links to other documents.

What does an HTML code consist of?

Due to the fact that the HTML code is text-based, a complete, functional code, or code called “source text” of the website consists of tag elements. Each award consists of an opening day, for example, followed by the text to be displayed in the award. Finally, the formatting of the text ends with a closing tag in this case:

<b> Bold Text </b>

<br> means the brake and it moves the cursor to the line below.

<i>Text in italics</i>

In HTML, you have to close the tags usually but also, there are also tags that do not have to be closed. One speaks of “empty tags”.

For example, <br>, <img> or <hr>. Since these tags do not refer to a section of text to be formatted, these elements do not need a closing tag either.

What does a basic framework look like in HTML?

The basic structure of an HTML website consists of various tags that identify the most important areas.

There are also tags that define the font, font formatting and placement of elements in the website in the browser.

Nowadays websites do not need frames because they have some disadvantages. If a page consists of several frames, a so-called frameset, the search engine may only call up the page in HTML with the frame in which the appropriate content can be found – but without a menu or a suitable environment. Also, users cannot set bookmarks on subpages in a website with frames.

What does HTML have to do with SEO?

Practically all SEO OnPage measures relate directly or indirectly to commands and markups in HTML. This is because the search engine bots and crawlers check certain HTML tags for keywords and specific content in order to be able to evaluate how suitable the content of the found website is to the search query. Therefore, experienced SEOs make sure to adjust those known properties of the website to be optimized accordingly.

Here are some HTML tags that are important for your SEO

Besides these tags, there are countless more HTML Tags that can help a Search Engine to understand the web page better. You can learn them via Semantic HTML article which includes more details about HTML Tag’s detailed meanings.

Alt Tag: (Alternative Tag)

The alternative description of your picture in text form, if your picture is not displayed and to support accessible websites. This tag is part of the meta-information and is usually not displayed.

Title tag:

Defines the title of the website and is considered an important ranking factor. Should not only be filled with keywords but texted sensibly.

HTML with frames

No longer used because of the lack of usability. Please use web pages that build upon the server-side

Meta description

Describes the content and purpose of this HTML page, invisible to the user on the website. The search engine can not only read this description but also play it out in the search results for orientation. If the description is not specified in the HTML code, the search engines try to read something from the website. It is therefore advisable to make this description yourself in the HTML source code.


We recommend a clearly defined headline structure so that the search engine can read the website better and in a more structured manner. In any case, this contains only one main heading “H1” and, depending on the meaningful subdivision of the content, further subdivisions down to, sometimes even deeper. This hierarchy usually also affects the font size and meaning (bold, italic, etc.). This means that the assignment of headings in the code also results in the formatting of text, but only in appearance, not in content.

NoFollow (non-follow attribute for links)

You can assign this property to a link on your own website if you do not want the search engines to follow your own page via the link marked in this way. This technique is common and part of meaningful link marketing. NoFollow tag is also for preserving the PageRank.

NoFollow Tag was a command but for now, it is just a hint for the Googlebot. Google is performing new experiments to understand the link’s nature better via its AI technologies.

Canonical tags

With this tag, you can give the search engine an indication of the most important URL and related content. The HTML markup takes place in the source text for each page and serves for the information structure of the website or better readability of websites for the search engines.

Canonical Tag was used to be a command for the Google Search Engine but for now, it is just a hint. If you use Canonical Tag correctly, the Search Engine can pay more attention to your hints.

Which program do you need to create an HTML document?

In fact, you can create HTML code in any text editor or word processor. After the code has been validly written, it is also important that the document is then saved as a “.html” file.

However, generating HTML pages in the corresponding editors is much more convenient and clearer. These enable the code to be checked, the tags to be colored and the content to be structured more clearly.

The range of HTML editors is very broad. There are WYSIWYG editors, which enable simple “clicking together” of simple websites as well as highly professional editors with all kinds of additions, review displays, and various factors.

What is the current HTML version?

The current variant is HTML 5.2 (as of June 2020) The markup language HTML is constantly being developed and adapted to the current conditions and requirements. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is responsible for this, which publishes conditions for valid HTML and takes care of the further development and standardization. It is about interpretations through browsers, mobile capability, user-friendliness, and much more.

HTM – what you don’t do with it

In the past, websites were programmed entirely in HTML. Due to the increasing dynamics on many websites, CSS has also established itself for modern web design. HTML is therefore only used to structure a website. For example, you determine whether a text should appear as a heading or body text. In a linked CSS file, you then define the format of such a text section. Also, you can’t create an interactive website without Javascript. With Javascript, a website can respond to the users’ behaviors and create a live website experience. You can read “What is Javascript” and “What is CSS” articles to learn basic definitions along with their working logic.

HTML Structure is important for Page Speed and Search Engine Optimization. It affects the Crawl Budget, Crawl Efficiency and Rendering Cost. Semantic HTML can help you to tell Search Engine more about your web pages, decreasing the HTML Node count can increase your page speed. Also, you can use lesser CSS Code thanks to well structured HTML Documents.

As Holistic SEOs we will continue to research and experiment on HTML.

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