What Does HTML Mean?


HyperText Markup Language, or HTML, is the standard coding language used to build web documents. Website authors use HTML to indicate how they want their text and graphics to be displayed on viewers’ web browsers.

What does “Hypertext Markup Language” Mean?

“Hypertext” refers to hyperlinks, or certain words or phrases that link users to information on other web pages. HTML is a coding language that consists of a standard set of codes, or tags, that website authors insert plain text documents to format them for the Internet. HTML tags are used in pairs, one before and one after the word or group of words that the site author wants to format. The tags “mark up” the text by telling web browsers how to display it (HTML tags can put a phrase in bold or in italics, for example). The site author marks up the document, saves it as an HTML file, and uploads it to a server. The user accesses the file through a web browser, which uses the HTML tags to interpret the document’s format and displays the end result to the viewer. The viewer does not see the HTML tags, but rather sees the site as the author intended.

Does a Website Author Need to Write HTML Code to Build a Site?

A website author does not necessarily need to write code to build a site successfully. Site authors can choose one of three main methods to build a website: make up text documents with HTML code, use an HTML editor, or use an HTML template. For those who do not want to write their own code, HTML editors allow authors to create a website by using a user-friendly interface similar to a word processing program. A WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) HTML editor allows users to design and format a webpage exactly as they envision it. The editor writes the code and the end result displayed by the browser will be the same as what the author saw while designing it. HTML templates are websites that can be customized to create different web pages with similar formats or content. Templates allow authors to create web pages without writing HTML code. A company or other organization may use templates to maintain a unified format to the many pages that make up their website.