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What is HTML5? A Beginner’s Guide to HTML

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14 Nov 2022

HTML5 is a markup language used to structure and present World Wide Web content. HTML5 is the latest version of HTML, and it’s a hot topic in the world of web design and development. It includes new features that make it easier for us to build websites that look good and run smoothly on various devices from phones to computers.

This blog will look at HTML5 and its different components, new elements and attributes. And most importantly, how these markup languages are all helping us build the future of the web.

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What is HTML?

HTML is the standard markup language for creating web pages and web applications. HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. It is used to create structured documents by denoting structural semantics for text, such as headings, paragraphs, lists, links, quotes, etc. Besides, these standard markup language documents are rendered by a web browser from top to bottom and left to right.

HTML is written in HTML elements consisting of tags enclosed in angle brackets within the document’s text. HTML tags tell the web browser how to display the page’s content. Most HTML tags are either empty elements or have an opening and a closing tag, with the content inserted in between.

For example, the <p> tag is used to create a paragraph, and the <strong> tag is used to make the text within it bold. The <a> tag is used to create a link, and the <img> tag is used to insert an image.

What is HTML?
What is HTML? (Source: Internet)

Moreover, HTML is a “static” markup language, meaning it only describes a document’s structure without regard for its content. That’s why we have the relationship of HTML, CSS, and JavaScrip to support each other. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is used to style the content of an HTML document, and JavaScript is used to add interactivity to an HTML document.

What is HTML5?

HTML5 is a markup language that helps you structure and present content on the World Wide Web. With HTML5, you can create websites and web applications that are more responsive, interactive, and informative than ever before. This is the 5th and the latest version of the Hypertext Markup Language – the code helps us create websites.

HTML5 was first released on 22 January 2008 and then published in October 2014 by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). This 5th version was made to improve the language with support for the latest multimedia and other new features and to keep it up to date with the rapidly changing World Wide Web.

What is HTML5?
What is HTML5? (Source: Internet)

HTML5 is a cooperation between the W3C and the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG). WHATWG was working with web forms and applications, and W3C was working with XHTML 2.0. In June 2004, the groups reached an agreement to work on the development of the HTML5 specification jointly.

Besides, HTML5 has been designed to be backward-compatible with older versions of HTML. However, some older browsers only support some of the new HTML5 features.

So, now you know all about HTML and HTML5, but you don’t know precisely the differences between them. Don’t worry, we have gathered the comparison table below. Let’s check it!

What are the differences between HTML and HTML5?

HTML is the markup language used for building web pages, and HTML5 is the fifth version of the said language. Many of the older elements found in HTML were improved for the better or replaced with new elements that are more convenient and useful in HTML5. 

Memory StorageCookies are used to store transient data.HTML5 stores transient data in a database connected to the current webpage.
Browser CompatibilityHTML works well with old browsers (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, etc.)HTML5 works well in all new browsers (Mozilla Firefox versions 4 to 63, Google Chrome versions 61 and above, etc.)
Mobile Friendliness
Multimedia SupportIf you want to use audio, video, etc., you need external plugins like Adobe Flash Reader.You can easily add audio and video to your website or blog using simple tags like <audio>and <video>
JavaScript SupportJavaScript can’t be executed directly in the browser.HTML5 allows the direct execution of JavaScript on the browser using the JS Web worker API.
Getting the user’s location using browserWeb browsers cannot determine a user’s exact location.With the JS GeoLocation API, HTML5 can specify a user’s location using a browser.
Complicated SyntaxesThe doc-type declaration or character encoding syntax is excessively long and complex. Ex:  <meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=UTF-8″>The Syntaxes are short and simple.Ex:  <meta charset=UTF-8″>
Semantics and Substructure defining tagsHTML does not have any tags that can explicitly specify the meaning of the text, or splits the document structure into smaller sections.It contains the tags like < article >, < section >, etc. that define the semantics of the text. Also, there are tags like < header >, < footer >, < nav >, etc., that define the substructure of the document.
Differences between HTML and HTML5 (Source: Internet)

What HTML5 has New?

HTML5 was designed with several objectives, including

  • Making code more readable for users and screen readers.
  • Reducing HTML, CSS, and JavaScript overlap.
  • Promoting responsiveness and uniformity of design across browsers.
  • Providing multimedia functionality without requiring Flash or other plugins.

How to use HTML5?

Before you start using HTML5 on your website, we recommend creating an HTML template first. This can act as a foundation or starting point for all your future projects. Here is a basic template that can be used for practice:

A basic template that can be used for HTML practice
A basic template that can be used for HTML practice (Source: Internet)

Building an HTML template for your web projects is simple and easy. You just need to follow these below steps by using a basic text editor like Notepad++.

Here is how to do it:

  • Step 1: The very first line of your HTML document should include the special code <!DOCTYPE html> to declare it as an HTML5 document – there’s NO need to add “5” since HTML5 is simply an evolution of past HTML standards.
  • Step 2: The next step is to define the root element. The root element is like a map that signals where you are going to write in your code. In an HTML5 document, the root element will always be <html>.
  • Step 3: Remember to include a language attribute in the opening tag of the HTML element. And if you don’t, screen readers will automatically use the operating system’s language. This could lead to incorrect pronunciations of your website’s content. 

By specifying the language attribute, you can ensure that screen readers can correctly identify the language of your document, making your website more accessible overall. In this case, we’re writing in English, so we’ll need to set the lang attribute to “en.”

  • Step 4: Make sure to include the manifest attribute in the opening HTML tag of your website. The manifest attribute points to your application’s manifest file, which is a list of resources your web application might need to access while disconnected from the network. 

This makes it possible for a browser to load your site even when a user loses or doesn’t have an internet connection, which is essential for a good user experience.

  • Step 5: In the head section of the document, write an opening <head> tag followed by a closing </head> tag. This is where you’ll put meta information about the page that will not be visible on the front end.
  • Step 6: In the head section of your HTML5 document, be sure to name your document in between <title></title> tags.
  • Step 7: Make sure to add the following meta information below the title of your page, specifying the character set the browser should use when displaying the page: <meta charset = “UTF-8” />. This is important because, generally, pages written in English use UTF-8 encoding.
  • Step 8: You can add external stylesheets below. If using Bootstrap CSS, it will look like this: <link rel=”stylesheet” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank” href=”bootstrap/css/bootstrap.min.css”>. 

We’ll include a dummy link and comment in HTML for demo purposes, noting that it’s optional.

  • Step 9: The next step is to write the body section of the document by creating opening and closing <body> tags. This is where you will insert all the content you want to be visible on the front end, such as paragraphs, images, and links.
  • Step 10: Now, in the body section, you will need to add a header and paragraph. You can write the heading name and wrap it in <h1></h1> tags. And for the paragraph, wrap the text in <p></p> tags.
  • Step 11: Lastly, don’t forget to close the HTML element with the appropriate tag.

When you’ve done, save your file with the .html extension. Then, load it into a browser to see how it looks!

A simple practice with HTML
A simple practice with HTML (Source: Internet)

Some frequently asked questions about HTML5

What’s wrong with the HTML5 video, exactly?

Problem with "HTML5 video not found"
Problem with “HTML5 video not found” (Source: Internet)

If you’re trying to play a video on a web page and you see the message “HTML5 video not found,” this means your browser doesn’t support the HTML5 format or is missing some codecs.

There are a few reasons why you might be seeing the “HTML5 video not found” error message. It could mean an issue with the website’s back-end, the browser can’t redirect the path of the video, or you have an older browser that can’t support the video’s flash player type.

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Where can I get HTML5 demonstrations?

So, you’ve probably seen a bunch of tutorials or articles about HTML5 on design blogs recently but didn’t think it was worth your time to learn because most users will not be able to view it anyway. We’ve compiled a few HTML5 demos to show you how wrong you were! These should make you want to start learning this new markup.

  • APIrocks HTML5 slideshow
  • Sublime Video: an HTML5 video player
  • Blowing up HTML5 video
  • HTML5 canvas games
  • Canvasmol

What resources do I require to build HTML5 websites?

With this question, we’ve gathered the top 10+ free HTML5 resources to help you learn this technology more efficiently:

  • HTML5 Rocks
  • HTML Goodies
  • HTML5 Tutorials
  • HTML5 Doctor
  • HTML5 Cheat Sheet
  • HTML5 Please
  • Dive Into HTML5
  • TheCodePlayer
  • HTML5 and the future of the web
  • Quick guide to HTML5
  • Yes, you can use HTML5 today


HTML5 is a markup language used to build web pages and applications, and it has been around since 2014. It is the newest version of HTML and has many new features, including the canvas element for drawing graphics, the easy way to embed audio and video, and the introduction of the <header> tag for page titles. 

We hope this article has helped you understand HTML5 better and see how to use it to make your pages more engaging. 

So, if you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us at EverRanks. Thank you for reading!

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