Introduction to HTML

What is HTML?

HTML is a markup language we use to tell web browsers what to show on a web page. The web browser's job is to recognize our markup and draw native elements on the screen.

The web page you are looking at right now is an HTML page. It contains hundreds of elements: headers, menu items, buttons, lists, links and many others.

We use HTML to choose the elements we want to use, CSS to style the elements and JavaScript to create interactivity.


HTML was invented in 1991 by Tim Berners-Lee who at the time worked as a physicist at CERN. The basic idea was that one could have static documents with information that referred to other documents using anchor tags (links).

Tim Berners-Lee and Nicola Pellow (wrote the first HTML browser). [Image by CERN]
Tim Berners-Lee and Nicola Pellow (wrote the first HTML browser). [Image by CERN]

HTML started out with 18 different elements, but as it became the official web standard it grew to more than 140 elements. The HTML specifications are now maintained and developed by the W3C.

HTML got a large update in 2014 with the introduction of HTML5 which added several new semantic elements, media elements and input types to the markup.



Hyper Text Markup Language

HTML is a standardized markup-language that allows us to structure documents to be processed by the browser. The standard contains a set of markups / tags that all browsers recognize.