HTML Meaning & Definition
History of HTML
HTML has been used since the dawn of the Internet as we know it today. In 1991, when Tim Berners-Lee introduced the World Wide Web, he also invented a system that web browsers could use to translate text to visual web pages. The original HTML design was relatively simple (it only included 18 tags) and adopted the tagging structure of the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML).
Since its inception, HTML has seen many updates from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). A combined total of 140 HTML tags have been added across the subsequent versions, the most notable of which is HTML5. In 2014, HTML5 introduced semantic tags for parts of a website that were previously unacknowledged, including the header, footer, navigation menu, as well as audio and video elements among others.
In this example, the <p> tag indicates that the following text will contain a body paragraph until the closing </p> tag. The italicized text, "Hypertext Markup Language (HMTL)" is bracketed with the <em> </em> tags, and the <a> </a> tags around the word "language" indicate that it contains a hyperlink (the href attribute) to Webopedia's definition for the term.
Other common HTML tags include:
- <head>, which holds metadata about the page's contents, including the title
- <body>, which holds all of the content that appears visually on a page
- <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, etc., which indicate a heading according to the content's organization
- <div>, which denotes a larger block of content that contains the same formatting
- <ol>, <ul>, and <li> for organizing an ordered or unordered list
- <img>, an inline tag that adds an image using a src attribute
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