Computer Programming Languages: HTML


Updated August 8, 2023

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HyperText Machine Language (HTML) is one of the most widely used computer programming languages in the world.

With HTML's creation in the early 1990s, the internet moved from being a way to link academic papers to the powerful tool we know today.

What is HTML? Put simply, it is a markup language that allows developers to create websites, web applications, and other digital content for the internet. It is relatively easy to learn and use, making HTML a great starting point for those new to computer programming.

In this guide, we’ll explore what HTML is, why it's a valuable language to learn, how it compares to other computer programming languages, and where you can find helpful resources for mastering HTML.

What Is HTML?

HTML is the main computer programming language used to structure a website. Created in the early 1990s by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, HTML helps organize documents and make websites navigable.

Since it cannot create dynamic functionality, HTML is not a coding language, strictly speaking. It is, however, the primary markup language of the internet. Developers use HTML for several applications, including:

Web Page Development

Almost every page on the internet was written using HTML code. Where readers see section breaks, paragraphs, headers, and tables, web developers have plugged in HTML tags that create these structural components.

Internet Navigation

HTML originated as a way to navigate smoothly between webpages. Still today, with hyperlinked text or href (hypertext reference) attributes, users can click on links and maneuver their way around the internet.

Storage Function

With HTML5, the most recent evolution of the code, browsers can store or remove data much more simply than they could in the past. Features such as localStorage and IndexDB have simplified the process.

Why Use HTML in Computer Programming?

A core component of computer programming, HTML is easy to learn and has low technical barriers to entry.

For instance, you don’t need any extra software or plugins to create webpages in HTML, and you can code those pages with nothing more than a text editor, like Sublime, VS Code, or Atom..

Additionally, HTML often works with other computer programming languages such as CSS and JavaScript. These languages allow developers to create complex and interactive user interfaces.

HTML is also a great choice for computer programming, due to its wide availability and adoption rate. As HTML has been around since 1990, it is one of the most widely used global computer programming languages.

Pros and Cons of HTML
Pros Cons

Free and easy to learn

Static language with no dynamic output

Widely used and supported by every browser

Offers few security features

Simple and useful for beginning developers

Some pages require developers to write extensive and intricate code.

Integrates easily with other languages

Static, inflexible, and can limit developer creativity

Has an application cache feature that lets users store big files

Without CSS, it does not offer aesthetically pleasing pages.

Companies That Use HTML

Almost all websites use HTML to create their primary structure. Consequently, companies that depend heavily on the internet for business often hire HTML computer programming experts. These professionals might design, code, test, and support new pages for the company or its clients.

Top-performing companies that employ HTML specialists include the following:

  • PayPal
  • IBM
  • Accenture
  • UPS
  • Cisco

HTML vs. CSS vs. JavaScript

HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are the three most important languages used to build websites.

HTML provides the page's basic structure, or its skeleton. CSS is responsible for formatting, color, and presentation. JavaScript controls the page's behavior, including transitions and moving images or text.

HTML CSS JavaScript

Type of Language

Markup language — marks up data

Design language

Programming language

Skill Level

Ideal for all skill levels

Easy for beginners

Difficult for new programmers


Consists of tags surrounding content

Consists of selectors preceding a declaration mark

Consists of script statements


To establish the site's structure

To provide the site's format, visual effects, color, and layout

To determine the site's behavior

Add-ons and Libraries


Tailwind, Bootstrap, Foundation, and CSS Wand

React, Ember, Vue, Svelte, and Angular among others

Examples of Code

<h> = heading

</h> = end heading

<p> = paragraph

</p> = end paragraph

<h1 style="color:red;">A Red Heading</h1>

<p style="color:blue;">A blue paragraph.</p>

<script type="text/javascript">

alert("Welcome to My Page");


Where Can You Learn HTML?

Students can learn HTML in traditional academic settings, through bootcamps, or in free online courses.

Some bachelor’s programs, such as computer science and web development majors, may include HTML in their curriculum. At the graduate level, however, professors may assume students know the fundamentals of web development.

Short-term options like bootcamps often include HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and teach students the basics in a more immersive way than academic programs.

Either an academic degree or a bootcamp can provide students with access to a web development career. A bootcamp offers a short, direct route to a job while a degree provides a theoretical underpinning that may help support a long-term career.

Hobbyists who are not seeking full-time employment in the field might enjoy free online courses in HTML. The quality of these offerings may vary, so it is important to read reviews or seek out recommendations from people who have completed the course.

Explore your education options

Computer Programming Degrees

Computer Programming Degrees

Computer Science Degrees

Computer Science Degrees

Best Web Development Bootcamps

Best Web Development Bootcamps

Best Game Design Bootcamps

Best Game Design Bootcamps

Additional HTML Resources

Online Classes




Online Forums

HTML Forums




HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites: Written for beginners, this book by Jon Duckett covers the basics of creating webpages with HTML and styling them with CSS.

Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Graphics: Jennifer Niederst Robbins' book covers HTML and CSS in-depth, and also introduces JavaScript and web graphics.

HTML5: Up and Running: Created by Mark Pilgrim, this book is a comprehensive guide to HTML5, the latest version of HTML. It covers all the new features of HTML5, such as new form elements, multimedia, and semantic markup. The book assumes some basic knowledge of HTML, so it's a good choice for intermediate-level learners.

Pro HTML5 and CSS3 Design Patterns: Written by Michael Bowers, Dionysios Synodinos, and Victor Sumner, this book is aimed at advanced learners who want to create complex web applications. It covers topics such as responsive design, positioning models, and box models.

HTML5 Developer's Cookbook: This book by Chuck Hudson and Tom Leadbetter provides a collection of practical examples and solutions for common web development problems. It covers advanced topics like HTML5 and video codecs, geolocation, and offline storage.

Frequently Asked Questions About HTML

  • What is the history of HTML in computer science?

    HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is among the oldest computer languages. In 1995, HTML 2.0 came out, with enhanced features such as tables, text formatting, forms, and additional types of content. With the release of HTML 5 in 2014, developers had even more control over the look and feel of their websites.

  • Why was HTML created?

    Tim Berners Lee, who is considered the father of the internet, wanted to find a way to share information between computers. So in 1993, he created HTML. Since then, HTML has been widely used in web development, and in 1999, HTML 4.01 became the official standard.

  • Should I learn HTML as a beginner?

    Learning HTML is a great way to get started in computer programming, as it provides a basic understanding of how websites and web applications work. HTML is also relatively easy to learn compared to other computer programming languages, such as Java or C++.

  • Do computer programmers use HTML?

    Yes, computer programmers use HTML to create the structure and content of websites, as well as mobile applications. However, many computer programmers also need to master other languages to create user-friendly sites.

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