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Difference Between HTML and HTML5

Updated Jan 17, 2020

Those who have even a small exposure to the world of web design would know little about “markup” languages and how they differ from programming “codes.” Historically, the “markup languages” drew inspiration from the processes of manuscript marking-up. In those earlier days, printer instructions were often derived from different types of handwritten markups. This article aims to throw light on what HTML is, what is HTML 5, and the difference between HTML and HTML 5.


The following table will provide the answer to the oft-asked interview question, what is the difference between HTML and HTML 5.0:

Basis of Difference HTML HTML 5.0
Running of JavaScript Allows JavaScript to perform only in the interface of the browser. It does not run originally in the background of the browser. The JavaScript code can run in the browser’s background itself via the JS web worker API.
Support for multimedia tags Does not allow the inclusion or running of audio <audio> and/or video <video> tags in its programs. Allows the inclusion and performance of video and audio controls and tags.
Support for visualization linked to shapes It does not support the drawing of different shapes (triangles, circles, rectangles, etc.) in the older HTML versions. HTML5 supports the drawing of different shapes (triangles, circles, rectangles, etc.)
Mobile-friendliness Older HTML versions provide lesser mobile-friendly features. HTML5 is a comparatively more mobile-friendly language.
Support for vector graphics It offers support for vector graphics exclusively with programs like Silver-light, Flash, and VML. HTML 5 allows support and usage of virtual vector graphics even without the support of programs of the likes of Silver-light, Flash, and VML.
The simplicity of the doctype declaration The doctype declaration is long and complicated in the case of HTML.

Doctype declaration is comparatively quite simple and easy to understand in HTML 5.

<!DOCTYPE html>
Complexity of character encoding Character encoding is complicated and lengthy in HTML. Character encoding is straightforward and easy to decipher in HTML 5.
Storage of data Uses cookies for the cause of storing temporary data. Uses SQL databases and related application cache memory for storing offline data.
Tracking of the GeoLocation of users Tracking the GeoLocation of users browsing specific websites via HTML is nearly impossible. The GeoLocation of users can be easily tracked in HTML 5 courtesy, the JS GeoLocation API.
Elimination of elements Most originally launched elements are present in the older HTML. Elements of the likes of tt, big, dir, base font, strike, frame, frameset, noframes, applet, isindex, font, center, acronym, as well as many other deprecated elements have been eliminated in HTML 5.
Absence of attributes (sync, charset, and ping) Attributes such as async, charset, and ping are not a part of HTML. Attributes such as async, charset, and ping form an essential part of HTML 5.
Parsing rules and cross-platform compatibility The rules for parsing are less efficient in HTML. The overall compatibility present across different platforms is obsolete. HTML 5 has better rules for parsing and showcases sound compatibility across different platforms.
Drag and Drop HTML disallows drag and drop effects. HTML5 features drag and drop effects.
Use of Inline SVG and MathML Inline SVG and MathML cannot be used in-line with text in HTML. In HTML5, inline SVG and MathML are capable of being used in the text.
Support for new form controls HTML does not provide any support for newly introduced form controls. HTML5 supports different new types of form controls such as date and time, range, tel, email, number, url, search, etc.
Presence of new elements The new elements contained in HTML 5 are absent in HTML. HTML 5 contains several new elements. These include summary, time, aside, datalist, details, embed, audio, command, data, footer, header, article, wbr, figcaption, figure, mark, meter, nav, hgroup, bdi, canvas, output, progress, rp, keygen, rt, track, video, ruby, section, source, etc.
Presence of new attributes New attributes like tabindex, id, repeat, etc. are absent for use in HTML. Tabindex, id, repeat, etc. are certain attributes that apply to HTML 5.0 elements.

What are HTML Markup Languages?

Markup languages are beneficial for keeping the web organized and accessible. They are well-equipped to process, define, and depict text, embed tags and scripts, as well as maintain, manage, and manipulate text annotations with the help of different style files/tags. They provide a perfect combination of text (markup), design (CSS), and their interactions – all courtesy easy-to-understand front end scripts – to make websites more organized and manageable. HTML or HyperText Markup Language is the most popular markup language. HTML5 was released as a recent version of HTML.

HTML Introduction

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is the first-ever markup language that was introduced for web development. HTML is responsible for giving the world smartly-designed web pages in the most organized and interactive formats. Be it with regards to styled texts, hyperlinks, engaging multimedia, cascading style sheets of other types of functions propagated by the newer versions of HTML; this markup language offers developers the best means to create engaging and interactive web content.

HTML standards are aptly regulated by the World Wide Web Consortium that has been generating work ethics and guidelines since 1997. Over the decades, this markup language has evolved from being one with complicated styles and tags to that equipped with content defining tags, style sheets, etc.

Features of HTML

1) Paired format of tags:

In HTML, the textual structures are created using tags defined by < > characters. It is written after taking the help of various HTML elements that contain tags bracketed within angle brackets such as ‘<html>’ and ‘</html>.’ These tags have to be typed in pairs like <h1> and </h2>. There are certain exceptions in the form of empty elements such as <img> that do not have to be written in the pair format.

2) Web Browsers do not show tags and Scripts in HTML

Web browsers are designed to read HTML files. They can render these HTML files into audible or visible web pages. The web browsers interpret the scripts and tags written in HTML for the development of the webpages but do not display them to viewers directly.

3) Semantic Description of Website Structure

HTML describes the website’s structure semantically. It also offers cues for presentation, thus making the mark-up language different from any other programming language. The elements of HTML provide the platform on which any website’s structure is built. HTML allows for the embedding of objects and images that can be utilized for the creation of varied interactive forms.

4) Amplification of HTML with HTML 4.0

HTML 4.0 amplifies the properties and features of HTML with convenient systems for templates, installation of objects, scripting of outlines, wealthier tables, upgrades to structures, enhanced openness with individuals and handicaps/ individuals, enhanced backing for tables and right to left course messages, etc.

5) HTML 4.0 Redresses Mistakes

HTML 4.01, which is an updated version of HTML 4.0, rolls out better improvements and redresses mistakes in more effective ways. This version of HTML has been developed by experts belonging to the field of internationalization. Therefore, HTML 4.OI records can be composed of different dialects and transported globally with ease.

6) ISO/IEC: 10646 Standards

The appropriation of ISO/IEC: 10646 standards for the record character sets for the markup language serves to a huge stride forward for HTML. ISO10646 is the most comprehensive standard, globally, for the management of issues of the representation of content course, accentuation, global characters, and dialect issues.

7) Backing for Different Human Dialects

HTML offers backing for various human dialects within a record. This accounts for better and more result-oriented indexing of archives for higher-quality typography, internet searchers, better hyphenation, a better transformation of content to-discourse, and so forth.

8) Incremental Rendering of Tables and Archives

HTML 4 presents new table elements and smartly-designed old elements for outlining tables. Because of this feature of HTML, it becomes possible for creators and specialists to render quicker archives. They can figure out more effective ways of planning tables for the cause of incremental rendering as well.

7) Simple and Easy Language

HTML can be understood and modified easily. As it features different types of formatting tags, it is a much-preferred option for making effective presentations. Besides, HTML helps in adding links on web pages with anchor tags for making webpage content more engaging for users.

8) Platform-Independent

HTML is platform-independent and is compatible with Windows, Linux, Macintosh, etc. It allows website creators to include videos, graphics, and audio files that can be displayed on most platforms.

HTML5 Introduction

HTML5 is the 5th latest, complete and final version of HTML. Used for structuring and presenting interactive and engaging content for WWW, HTML 5 forms the core technology designing mark-up language for the Internet. This version of HTML forms the standards for the laid-down regulations of the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium). HTML 5 succeeds in the HTML4 version, which was standardized in the year 1997.

HTML markup language has evolved with time, and its latest version HTML 5 is packed with new features and efficient tools for web development purposes. HTML 5 is a smart integration of Java, HTML and CSS components. These components are beneficial for developers and go a long way in helping them create more interactive and engaging applications. HTML 5 has the best technology in place for making web pages accessible to mobile devices in better ways.

HTML5 provides a plethora of new, interesting elements for developers, these are:

  • Semantic elements of the likes of <footer>, <article>, <header> and <section>
  • Attributes of form elements such as date, time, calendar, number and range
  • Graphic elements like <svg> and <canvas>
  • Multimedia elements such as <audio>, <video>, etc.

Features of HTML5

1) Support for the Latest Multimedia Features

HTML5 has provided big improvements in the world of markup languages by supporting the latest multimedia inclusions. The USP of HTML 5 is that despite its new multimedia support, it is still user- friendly and very easy-to-read by humans. Also, it can be consistently understood by devices like web browsers, parser, computers, etc.

2) Subsumes HTML4, XHTML 1 and DOM Level 2 HTML Features

Along with showcasing the features and attributes of HTML 4.0, HTML 5.0 also absorbs DOM Level 2 HTML and XHTML. HTML 5 serves as the answer to HTML and XHTML being commonly used on the WWW with a combination of features launched via various specifications, web browsers, different software products, and objects established as a result of common practices.

3) Encourages More Interoperable Usage

HTML5 includes different preparing models for the cause of energizing more interoperable use of the markup language. It enhances and legitimizes the markup tags and scripts that are useful for accessing archives. Overall, HTML 5.0 presents well-designed mark-up/ application programming interface (API) used for developing complex web applications.

4) Useful for Cross-Stage Portable Applications

HTML5 is significantly useful for cross-platform portable applications. It incorporates the highlights that are outlined for low-fueled gadgets such as tablets, cell phones, etc. The inclusion of new syntactic components has made HTML 5.0 a beneficial product for its numerous users.

5) Components for Media and Graphical Representations

The newly included <audio>, <canvas> and <video> components in HTML 5.0 are instrumental in locally incorporating and handling graphical and media substances. They are used to bolster adaptable vector design (SVG) substances, while MathML is useful for implementing scientific equations.

6) New Properties for advancing semantics of records

New HTML 5.0 page structure components have been introduced with a view of advancing the semantic substance of different types of records. Some components, characteristics, and features have been excluded, re-imagined, traditional, or changed (for instance, <a>, <cite>, <menu>, etc.) for improving the semantic functionality of the markup language with regards to records.

7) Document Object Model (DOM) and APIs

The Document Object Model (DOM) and APIs are currently the most significant features of HTML5 specifications. They are handy for better handling of any invalid reports, etc. The new API's in HTML5 comprise of HTML Geolocation, HTML Drag and Drop, HTML Local Storage, HTML Application Cache, HTML Web Workers, HTML SSE, etc.

8) Simple DOCTYPE Declaration

The DOCTYPE declaration is simple and easy-to-understand in HTML 5.0

<!DOCTYPE html>

9) Easy Charset Declaration

The character encoding or charset declaration in HTML 5.0 is straightforward too:

<meta charset="UTF-8">

HTML5 Support For Modern Browsers

HTML 5.0 is compatible with all types of modern-day browsers. All browsers, however old or new, can automatically handle the unrecognized elements in the form of inline elements. Due to this reason, the older browsers can also be conditioned to handle the "unknown" HTML elements. It is even possible to teach IE6 (Windows XP 2001) new ways of handling unknown HTML elements.

Advantages of HTML5 over HTML

  1. HTML5 promotes better accessibility and inspection of HTML documents with semantic tags and ARIA.
  2. HTML5 offers support for audio and video clips, thus making the use of Flash Player and third-party media players obsolete.
  3. The necessity for the Cut and Paste option is eliminated in HTML 5. with the doctype, thus removing endless lines of complicated codes and messy head tags.
  4. HTML5 offers a cleaner, more elegant, more straightforward, better described, and, therefore, more attractive codes.
  5. HTML5 allows for improved performance and security, even as it allows for storage across numerous windows. Its new local storage facilities help users create web apps without the use of third-party plugins


What is the use of HTML for you? Now that you have understood the features and advantages of using either HTML and html5, you will be in a much better position to adopt the benefits from HTML5. The HTML and html5 differences have created a wave of change and maximized the potential of modern-day web browsers. The debate about HTML vs. html5 is virtually on ebb with coders preferring the latest version of the markup language instead of the older ones – are you ready to make the shift as well?