HTML and HTML5 look similar, but actually they are not. We are going to differentiate both of them for you. By the end of this article, you will have a complete idea about HTML and HTML5. You will also get to know about which one to use when and why. You must have known that HTML is HyperText Markup Language.

It was one of the most common languages to create web pages, include images, text, objects on a page. Most of the websites use HTML for the pages that are published on these sites. In this, the developer gets a lot of opportunities to create the web page according to the content. 

In 2014, HTML5 made its way as an update to this language. Now, We are going to share all the details and compare both of them with you. Going through this article, you will get a crystal clear idea about which one suits your website/project. Everything is going to be in detail so that you don’t have any doubts about both of them.

What is HTML All about?

As mentioned earlier, HTML is HyperText Markup Language. It is used as a primary language for creating the webpages. It is one of the most widely used languages in the world. There are basic coding that helps the developer add images, objects, links, colors, text & much more.

Tim Berners-Lee was the person behind releasing HTML in 1991. After he released HTML in its first stage, there were many updates in this language. We saw HTML 2.0 in 1995 and then released the HTML 3.2 in the year of 1997. After that, We saw HTML 4.01 in 1999, and then came the XHTML in 2000. The latest version of HTML is HTML5, released in 2014.

What do you think about this language? It is the most basic language that can develop a complete website. All it requires is a little bit of coding that will build the webpages. You are able to interlink all the pages to build a full-fledged website. Apparently, It is one of the oldest languages when it comes to web development. 

There are various additions that you can use along with HTML to make your website look astonishing. Some of the other front-end languages are – Javascript and CSS. These front-end languages combine with HTML to form an absolutely great website that attracts users. You can drastically improve the design of your website using these additional languages with HTML.

Furthermore, HTML uses different tags for different purposes. Like there are tags predefined for everything that you would like to include on the page. This is how language works. You have to use the specific code in order to add an item to your project. You must have seen <a></a>, <h1></h1>,  and many more. These are tags that we were talking about.

Although, in recent times, there are multiple editors available that visually get the work done. All you have to do is simply drag and drop items on your page. Primarily, these visual editors are more popular on WordPress and other related CMS. Even editors like these use HTML as the language so as to get all the things in the right place.

You can use many tags in HTML like <i> for making the text italics, <b> for making the text bold, <center> to align the text in center. One thing to note is that you need to end these tags wherever the job is completed. Like if you have to bold some words, you need to end the bold tag at the end like <b>Only these words</b>. This is how you write tags in HTML.

What is HTML5 then? 

Well, HTML5 is advanced and the latest version of HTML. As already mentioned, we have seen updates to the HTML version in the past. HTML5 is an upgraded version of the HyperText Markup Language. You will see much advancement in the latest language version. More features are included that can help you make the webpages look better.

You must have seen updates on the Windows/Mac/iOS/Android device, HTML5 is the similar update to its predecessor language HTML. More features, according to the needs, are added timely, which helps the developer in going with the flow. There are several things that are the same from the predecessor language, which will remain constant until the end.

We are not going into deep analysis for now. But just to give you a brief, there are multiple additions to this language. These features were not present in the past, like offline media storage support, specific content support(header, footer, etc.), audio and video embedding, etc. So, you must have seen that HTML5 included many additional features to the existing ones on HTML.

Now, its time to really compare and find the difference between both of these languages. Don’t worry; we are going to go through each and every important stuff that you would like to compare

The Real Difference: HTML V/S HTML5

There are some significant differences between both of these Languages. We are going to share all of the differences and compare them to you. All you have to do is choose which is the language that you want to use. Before we begin with the difference and comparison, we would like to tell you that the basics are the same for both of these languages.

Currently, We are going to show the differences and upgrades of HTML5 from HTML. Without wasting any more time, let’s jump right into the HTML V/S HTML5.

  • HTML5 has the support for SVG(Scalable Vector Graphics), canvas, many other virtual vector graphics, and objects. While in HTML, you could only use vector files with the help of third-party technologies. This was a major problem if the visitor didn’t have the flash player on their device. As these technologies used to include Flash, VML, SilverLight, etc.
  • HTML5 is compatible with storing data temporarily using Web SQL. Whereas, the predecessor version of HTML could only use browser cache for doing the same. So, an advanced method to store the data temporarily is available on HTML5.
  • HTML5 can run JavaScript directly within a web browser. However, the previous versions of HTML could run JavaScript through the browser interface thread only. So, it is a good thing about the HTML5 version that allows running javascript within a browser directly.
  • HTML5 has a lot of improvements regarding the parsing rules. As this latest version of HTML is not based on SGML, it provides enhanced compatibility to the user. HTML5 has a clear advantage over the previous versions which were based on SGML.
  • In HTML5, you are able to use inline MathML and even SVG along with the text. Apparently, the previous version of HTML didn’t allow this to happen. It makes this language even better for the compatibility factor for the user.
  • Some of the elements were removed in the latest version, HTML5. These elements included isindex, noframes, applet, basefont, font, frame, frameset, acronym, center, strike, big, tt, etc.
  • There are more controls added to HTML5. These controls are innovative and easier than the previous ones. These controls included dates and times, number, email, url, tel, range, and search, etc.
  • There are various new features and elements that were included in HTML5. Some of them are time, aside, command, datalist, data, audio, summary, etc. We couldn’t even name them all. HTML5 as a result added many more elements and features than the previous languages.

Advantages of HTML5 over the previous versions

Seeing the differences above, you must have got the idea about which one has more advantages. Definitely, it is the latest HTML5 which has advantages over the previous version of HTML. We are currently including the Advantages that we thought are more important for you.

There are a lot of improvements in the latest version. We are showing some of the major transformations that happened in the HTML5 from the past versions. These advantages are helpful for the developer’s point of view. We are also sharing the advantages of HTML5 for the end-user in the later section of this article.

For Developers

These are some of the advantages of HTML5 in case you are a developer. These advantages might attract developers. As the developer has to choose which language they are going to use. Apparently, developers are the one who needs to have as much as advantages that can increase their usability. These are a few of them for you:

Error Handling at Ease

For the developers, it was a painful task to parse the structurally incorrect HTML code. As there was no standard process of handling the syntactically or structurally incorrect HTML code. However, most browsers added the support to parse the structurally incorrect code.

This indicates that previously, the browser developers had to perform some malformed HTML tests in various browsers. This used to happen so as to create an advanced error handling process through the use of reverse engineering.

However, in HTML5, support for consistent error handling which does the job perfectly. This has achieved a lot of improvements in parsing the incorrect HTML codes. There are different parsing algorithms that are introduced in HTML5 which have made a great impact over error handling in this language. HTML5 saves a lot of time, money, and efforts of a developer in error handling particularly.

Enhanced Semantics for some Elements

With HTML5, there are a lot of improvements in the semantic roles of some existing elements in the HTML language. This practice enhances code insinuation in the Markup language.

There are a lot of new elements that have apparently replaced some of the existing elements in the language. Most of the div elements are now replaced with section, nav, article, header, etc. It actually reduces the time consumed for the process of mistake-scanning throughout the lines of code. As the elements introduced are simpler and easier, it makes the process fairly smooth.

Improved Support for Web Applications

It is one of the most important tasks for HTML5 to allow the browsers for functioning as an application platform. This will additionally help the developers to get the enhanced controls over their project’s performance and usability.

Previously, the developer had to do various tasks to do the same thing which HTML5 supports without any addition now. As most of the server-side technologies and extensions on the browser were not available previously.

HTML5  has various elements that allow us to do all these functionalities without any workaround. However, in the past, most of the same tasks had to be done using javascript-based or flash elements that increased the complexity as well. Now, there is no need for an extra workaround in HTML5 for supporting Web Applications through the language.

Improved support for Mobile Web

With the rapid increase in the number of mobile users all around the world, a web platform should also focus on its majority user. As a developer, you would prefer using a language that can optimize your website according to every device. HTML5 has drastically improved the standards for the mobile web.

As HTML5 is the latest version of HTML, it has made a lot of improvements, especially for mobile platforms. It apparently optimizes the content for low-powered mobile devices. You would cover most of your user base from the mobile devices, HTML5 will help you a lot. You can see significant upgrades in the HTML5 regarding mobile web support.

This is going to help you in different terms. You can create your website for all types of devices with the help of different elements in HTML5. This will save your time along with a lot of bucks you spend on various optimization stuff.

Canvas – A great thing

Canvas is one of the most exciting elements that provide some great features in HTML5. There are various graphic elements that you can add to your web pages including boxes, circle, text, images & much more.

You can draw these graphics by adding a simple tag to your code. This language can make the flash completely obsolete/of no use.anymore. The Canvas element can even draw the graphics with different color shades and shapes as per your choice with simple additions.

However, you need to note that the <canvas> element is just a graphic container. For using the proper functionality of this, you will have to define the particular graphics in a script that is going to be executed. So, it makes HTML code a little easier and comfortable, but you will have to define each and everything about the graphics in the scripts as well.

Menu Element – All you need

There were two elements that were added in the latest HTML5 version. These include <menu> and <menuitem> which helps in making interactive website elements. These elements were introduced so as to fill the gap of development with the interactivity on the web pages.

Apparently, these two elements help you to provide enhanced web interactive support. As you can understand by the name, <menu> is used to include menu commands in the mobile or web applications. These also simplify the complexity which was there in the previous versions. The simple command can help to improve the structure and making it easier to remember.

Same as <menu>, the <menuitem> command will provide the functionality for the elements in a menu. This will also ensure that the commands are more relatable to the context. As a result, the syntax used for different menu related terms will now become easier and simpler.

Data Attributes Customizations

Although, it was possible to add custom attributes to the previous version of HTML, but it’s a risky practice to do so. Because custom attributes might stop the page from rendering completely in the previous versions of HTML or might end up showing invalid/incorrect documents. This is a risky task that no one would want to perform in HTML 4 but now HTML5 does the job easily.

HTML5 has solved the problem from the root itself. Now, it allows the usage of custom attributes using data-* attribute. There are various uses of this in HTML5 which include styling CSS elements or extracting any element’s data through jquery. This is a great addition to the latest version of HTML, which apparently solves the problem for the developers.

With the help of these, developers can eventually add custom data to the web pages. This will result in making engaging & efficient web pages without the hassle of using complicated server-side lookups or different Ajax calls on the pages.

Web Storage – Replacing Cookies

HTML5 uses web storage/local storage in order to replace cookies. In the previous version of HTML, the developer had to use cookies in order to store anything. These cookies used to hold a small amount of data (~4 kb)

But Cookies had their own disadvantages. Cookies can expire in the span of a time period. It would also restrict the usage of complex data. Eventually, it would slow down the web server by including various additional scripts to the server.

However, Web Storage allows us to permanently store the data on the client’s system. Web Storage even provides a large amount of data capacity (~5 MB). It even doesn’t put a load on the server by including additional scripts to the webserver. All in all, Web Storage is a better way of storing data instead of cookies. This makes HTML5 even better than other previous versions.

For the Client/End-User

Not only there are advantages for developers, but HTML5 gives significant advantages to the End-User as well. This even helps you to decide which is a better version of HTML for your end-user/audience. These are the advantages of HTML5 for the end-user:

HTML5 reduces the mobile browser crash. With smooth algorithms and structure, it makes easier for mobile browsers to handle the web platforms easily. 

With the support of Web Applications and Mobile Optimizations, users can enjoy everything on a mobile device. As mobile users will not have to install a company’s application just in order to use the features. With the help of responsive websites and support to web applications, user can directly use all features from the web portal on mobile.

It has completely vanished the need for flash players by allowing the developers to use graphic-rich content through Javascript & MPEG4. No additional plugin/extension required to use 3rd party players on the browser.

HTML5 has the support for native audio and video elements without the use of any additional plugin/extensions. This makes it easier to use everything from a website without any additional pre-requisites for the particular elements.

There are a lot of other features that allow the optimization of web applications and pages based on the user’s preferences. This would improve the user experience by optimizing every element accordingly.

Let’s Conclude

That was all about what we had to say on HTML V/S HTML5. We tried to compare as much as features we could. This would have given you a clear idea about the latest and the previous version of HTML. We tried to make it simple yet informative and we hope, you would have got what you wanted to know.

We would want to conclude the article by sharing the points that we learned above:

HTML5 has improved a lot of things from its previous versions. It now supports <audio> and <video> tags that give javascript the complete support to play in the background. There are various new elements introduced in HTML5 including date, summary, datatlist, and much more.

The latest version of HTML has improved the parsing of errors. There are various additions made in HTML5 to improve the support for Web Applications, Mobile Web & much more. Apparently, elements like <canvas>, <menu> were introduced in HTML5 which were not available in the previous versions.

There were other additions that were made in HTML5 which were not available in the previous versions. All in all, HTML5 made different improvements over the other version of HTML. This must give you a clear vision about which one to choose amongst HTML5 V/S HTML (previous versions).

Happy HTML’ing ?!!

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