Digital Communication


Digital Communication

What is HTML and what does it mean?


HTML is one of the most widely used markup languages ​​in the world for website design. Its homogeneous and clearly structured syntax as well as its minimal learning curve are among its advantages. HTML is a good basis for creating a modern and pleasant website with interactive elements and is ideal for taking your first steps in web design.

HTML: define Hyper Text Markup Language

HTML stands for “Hyper Text Markup Language” and is one of the Most used hypertext markup languages ​​with Java and CSS. It was in 1992 that Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, laid the foundations of HTML with the first HTML specification. In December 1999, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) officially standardized HTML version 4.0. Currently (in 2023), XHTML and HTML5 versions are used for creating SEO optimized websites.

HTML is defined by very clear characteristics:

  • When creating a website, we use HTML tags that describe and structure the elements of a page.
  • The syntax of HTML is homogeneous and textual. It always starts with an opening tag and is closed with a closing tag.
  • HTML is considered a markup language.

HTML is not a programming language

In principle, HTML is not a programming language. Unlike programming and encryption languages ​​like PHP or JavaScript, HTML does not allow the implementation of algorithms, the execution of tasks, instructions or loops. HTML is one of the markup or marking languages. While HTML describes and structures a website using textual and static syntax, programming languages ​​are capable of creating dynamic content, performing complex calculations, processing data and making decisions.

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What is the use of HTML?

HTML allows the creation and editing of professional and private websites. The basic structure, also called source code, is always similar for HTML websites due to its uniform syntax. The HTML source code as well as the CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) tell browsers displaying websites, their layout, colors and typography on different devices.

The current HTML5 version provides many new uses and HTML attributes.

From possibilities of use and functions of HTML, we find:

  • The description of the layout and appearance of a website
  • Running embedded videos with HTML, audio elements, and spreadsheets
  • The integration of stylistic elements for the representation of text
  • Navigation within a site using hyperlinks
  • Creating forms to generate leads (e.g.: a registration form, a newsletter, a contact request, a download)
  • The integration of search forms or booking options in combination with plugins
  • Running dynamic page content that directs to CSS stylesheets or JavaScript documents

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What does the structure of HTML code look like?

The basic HTML structure is always very similar due to the homogeneity of its syntax. HTML documents always contain the following three basic elements:


There document declaration is always at the top at the beginning of an HTML document. The DOCTYPE html tag is transcribed in the format <!DOCTYPE html>. It tells the browser the document type, code syntax and HTML version. HTML5 will for example be characterized by the tag <html5>. As the DOCTYPE tag is not an HTML element strictly speaking, it is the only one to appear before the HTML header of the document.

HTML header

In the header of the HTML document, we find the following elements:

  • The title of the document
  • The description
  • The author and copyright
  • Encoding
  • Indications on stability
  • Embedding encryption and styling information related to CSS or JavaScript documents and other embedded resources
  • Indexing indications for search engine crawlers with the robots meta tag

HTML body

The HTML body is opened with the tag <body>and contains all information on layout visible as well as integrated dynamic page elements. Using HTML tags, the body describes everything that people see in the browser’s viewing area when they visit the website.

Basic structure of an HTML document

To better understand the basic structure of an HTML document, here is an example:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<meta …/>


The structure of an HTML tag

Apart from the DOCTYPE tag which does not need a closing tag as well as a few other exceptions, all elements of an HTML document follow the same principle of the three elements :

  • The opening < > tag: Opening tags are always placed between two angle brackets and tell the browser where the element starts displaying content.
  • The content tag: between the opening tag and the closing tag, we find the content that the browser must display or execute. This includes paragraphs of text, video players, images and forms.
  • The closing tag: the closing tag is located between two rafters with a fraction bar. It tells the browser where the HTML element ends.

The structure of an HTML element is similar to the following model:

<…>Texte d’exemple</...>


<…>Texte d’exemple</...>


The 10 Most Important HTML Tags

There is a specific HTML tag for almost every design wish. As the list of all HTML tags is too long to list here, we present below the most important tags for an HTML document:

HTML tag Function
<!DOCTYPE> Determines the HTML document type
<html> Indicates start of HTML
<head> Open HTML header
<body> Open HTML body
<h1>…</h1> Indicates H1 headings (the same goes for H2 and H3 tags)
<a href=“Link-URL”>Terme lié</a> Characterizes links in the HTML document
<p>…</p> Characterizes paragraphs in a document
<ul>…</ul> Characterize the lists
<li>…</li> Appears in combination with lists and scores at the top of the list
<i>…</i> Characterizes cursive writing

What role does HTML play for SEO?

Clean and correct HTML code allows browsers, search engines and crawlers to display and index your website correctly. A neat basic structure of an HTML document with integrated elements in CSS or JavaScript (or other languages) therefore has a positive effect on the positioning of a website in search engines. Simply forgetting a closing tag can, on the contrary, lead to the page displaying incorrectly. Additionally, meta tags determine the appearance of snippets as well as the correct indexing of a page in search engines.

Some of the most important HTML tags that can influence SEO include:

  • The Title tag: the tag <title>…</title>in the header of the HTML document serves as a title for search engine snippets and plays an important role in the positioning of a site.
  • The meta tag Description: The meta description tag includes a summary of the website’s content. It must be short and effective. It also appears in the HTML header and in search results, which is why it is essential for SEO.
  • The Robots meta tag: robot tags give indications to the search engine on how to proceed with crawlers or on the indexing of pages. Thus, they can influence whether or not pages on a site are indexed.
  • The ALT tag: ALT tags <alt>…</alt>describe the contents of the embedded images. They allow better accessibility as well as better positioning when searching for images.
  • The Anchor tag: thanks to Anchor inking tags <a>…</a>, hyperlinks that refer to internal or external content can be integrated into the HTML document. They make it possible to improve the loading time, ergonomics and positioning of a page.

What are HTML programs?

Like HTML is free, it’s quite simple to create your own website. However, you will need HTML editors that can create HTML documents, save them, and publish them. There are both free and paid editors in the form of desktop software to install or online editors.

Among the best HTML editors, we find:

  • Notepad++ (free)
  • NoteTab (free and paid version)
  • CoffeeCup (free and paid version)
  • Visual Studio Code (free)
  • Atom (free)
  • Sublime Text 3 (free and paid version)
  • Android Studio (free)
  • Brackets (free)
  • CotEditor (free)
  • Bluefish (free)
  • Komodo Edit (free)

Learn HTML easily

HTML is not only one of the most used markup languages ​​in web design, but also one of the easiest to understand. Additionally, HTML is seen as a standard knowledge in web development among developers and programmers alike. If you want to learn HTML, you will benefit from a simple and clear syntax as well as a solid foundation for carrying out many web projects. Creating a website for beginners using an editor according to the WYSIWYG principle (“What You See Is What You Get”) is particularly quick and easy. This does not require any in-depth knowledge of HTML. The editor takes care of entering the HTML code with built-in structuring, typing and drag-and-drop functions.

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