What HTML Stands For | Basic HTML Page Structure Definition

HTML stands for Hypertext markup language. It is a markup language that makes the communication of different devices possible on the web. With HTML you describe what a page should look similar to, what types of fonts to utilize, what color text should be in, where paragraph marks come and many more aspects of the document. The word Hypertext refers to the ability of the HTML language to link other pages to a page. So the ability of creating links to the other pages and web resources is Hypertext. Markup means that it is used to create pages of formatted text along with photos and other media embedded in the page.(HTML is the base for CSS to work See CSS Tricks)

HTML was originally based on an old markup language called SGML. SGML stands for Standard Generalized Markup language. Now the HTML is no more tied with SGML. Hyperlinks are what make the web go round. Html makes different computers, on different networks using different operating systems, and devices to communicate with each other.

Html is, you can say, a browser based language which runs on all modern browsers. All the versions of HTML are supported in all the modern browsers. There is a quirks mode that renders all things like Html. Things will appear differently in every browser in the quirks mode. It is necessary to use good and clean Html code to avoid the quirks mode in a browser. Html 2.0 was endorsed in 1995. It was the first standardized version of HTML. HTML 3.2 was the first version that was ratified by the World Wide Web.

A complete html document has several important tags in it. There are some tags without which the HTML document is incomplete. In the following code we are going to show you some of the important tags with some not important tags.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<!– this is the way to comment in an HTML document –>

<html lang=’en’>
    <meta charset=”UTF-8″ />
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    <link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” HREF=”main.css” />

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      This is a simple HTML document.


In this code the first line “<!DOCTYPE html>” is used to tell the browser that what version of the HTML will be for the rest of the elements of the page. It looks like a simple DOCTYPE declaration as compare to the older versions of the HTML. This declaration is used in HTML5. In older version like html 4 the DOCTYPE declaration is much more complicated which includes a DTD and things like that. Because Html is now divorced from SGML so we don’t need a DTD and it is not a valid thing to do. The use of this is to tell the browser to don’t use the quirks mode, use the standard mode.

“<!DOCTYPE html>” should be the first line of the html document. Even before any white space or a comment. If it isn’t than it will work in some browsers and will not in some others. Like in Internet Explorer it will fall back into the quirks mode.

The next line is a comment in HTML document. It starts with an angle bracket and than an exclamation mark than two dashes and than your comment, at the end two dashes and a right angle bracket. Multiple spaces or lines are allowed in comments but there should not be the ending two dashes more than one time. Otherwise it will cause your page to malfunction.

After the comment the DOM Tree starts also called the DOM model or Document Object Model. In the beginning we have an angle bracket “<” and the word html and then the language or other attributes then the ending angle bracket “>”. At the end same tag with a slash at the beginning showing that it is the end tag. In between the html tags is the whole page.

The html tag has two sibling children’s as head and body tags. The head tag contains the head part of the document like Meta information, title of the page and an external style sheet named “main.css”. The body tag contains the body part like the h1 or heading tag and the paragraph or p tag.