HTML, why's it so popular?

Hey everybody,
Does anybody know why html is the markup language of choice for websites?

HTML is the language of choice for websites because HTML is the STANDARD language that ALL browsers use to interpret and display a webpage.

What exactly do you mean by standard? Who set this standard? Does that just mean it’s the expected language. Or is there something down on paper somewhere, declaring html to be standard? What makes it the standard?

Like you said, it is the expected language that browsers use to display a web page. You can send, and receive all sorts of data through a HTTP request… but your web browser will only display a web page if that data is in HTML format. Its almost like your PDF reader will only read a *.pdf file if that file is in PDF format.

If your looking for some background, or further info:

The web and web standards

Thankyou. I’m somewhat new to the realm of front end development, so every bit of understanding helps.

1 Like

You’re welcome! Good luck on your learning journey!

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is a popular web development programming languages to create the basic website foundation. It helps in building headings, paragraphs, lists, tables, and links, that gives a proper structure to the web page.

Here are some key reasons.

• There is no need to get into any formal education and it is easy to learn and use.
• HTML users don’t need any software and plug-ins.
• HTML is lightweight and fast to load.
• Every browser supports HTML.
• HTML can easily integrate with other languages.
• HTML is user-friendly and can display changes instantly.
• HTML is an open-source program.

Thanks. That’s helpful.

HTML is the technology used to mark up text/images/etc so that they can be rendered as a website by a browser. Therefore if you want a browser to render a website, you mark up your text/images/etc using HTML.

HTML is the tool used to describe web pages so that a browser can render them. That’s why you use HTML. Like, if you want to screw a screw into something, you’re probably going to want to use a screwdriver, not some other tool.

Edit: it isn’t a completely daft question, because there are alternatives that work:

  • There is XHTML. But XHTML is obselete. XHTML2 never happened, HTML5 came instead.
  • There is XML. But XML requires you to define a schema (eg what each tag means). For HTML, the schema is already defined, the browser doesn’t need any additional information. So it is incredibly rare to see an XML website.
  • There is SVG. But although it can theoretically work as a way to mark up a website, it’s incredibly inconvenient. SVG is a markup language for defining graphics, not for building websites.

But basically, a browser is an application that can make HTTP network requests. If the response to the network request is in the form of HTML, the browser can render it [as a website]. It’s not like there’s a choice: you don’t get to write a website using something else you’ve arbitrarily chosen instead.


It’s not arbitrary, it’s not just “an expected language”. If there weren’t agreed-on worldwide standards there’d just be a mess (as there has been at various points in time).

Thanks @DanCouper. :smiley: