The Difference Between HTML And XML

HTML – Hypertext Markup Language, a great markup language to showcase data to users. Basically, we write HTML to make the structure of a website. Also, it was created for this purpose.

But sometimes we need more than just making structure or focusing on the look of data. And then XML comes into the field. XML – Extensible Markup Language, you may find out that this is a politely different markup language than HTML.

Actually, we can do a lot more than HTML in XML. We can store, transfer, describe data, and make structures with XML.

But you may be curious to know every detail of these two markup languages and also the usual differences between them. This article is going to ensure that a complete beginner understands these two in-depth.

What is HTML?

HTML is an acronym of Hypertext Markup Language. HTML is the standard and the most popular markup language to create web pages. But what is that “Hypertext”? Well, hypertext generally refers to some link where you can visit through your browser by browsing.

These hyperlinks are clickable or event-driven means you can drive them through input devices like mouse or keyboard or touch screen.

Leave that formal definition. Actually, you are reading this article because of HTML. This whole website has a lot of HTML code behind it. A web page is called an HTML document. And every HTML document has some basic features like tag, element, attribute, etc.

Every portion of an HTML document is called an HTML element. And every element is wrapped over some HTML tag that has an opening and a closing tag which tells the browser which part is part of the HTML document and which part is not.

Let us take an example that will give you more understanding of HTML

<!Doctype html>
        <title>This is a webpage</title>
        <h1>This is a heading!</h1>
        <p>This a paragraph tag of a website</p>

Here you can see that we have written some angle brackets and also some weird words like HTML, head, p, h1, etc. Here angle brackets and weird words are HTML tags. By writing <!Doctype html> we are telling our browser that, “hey, this is an HTML document, please treat it like that.”.

And then when we are writing <title> this is gonna tell the browser that this is the title of this webpage. And <> is an opening tag also </> is a closing tag. Between the opening and closing tag is the statement or element of that kind of tag you are writing.

In a short brief intro, this is HTML. You can find out more in this article, so please continue.

Pros and cons of HTML


  • Very easy to learn and master. Also its learning curve is very much beginner friendly.
  • Too much lightweight markup language.
  • Have a strong and large user community.
  • Well interpreted by every kind of browser.
  • HTML is completely free. You don’t have to worry about a license or something like that.
  • Multiple language and Unicode support.
  • Cross platform supported.
  • You can compress your document which makes your file small and fast to transport.
  • If you make any kind of error then the whole document won’t be broken.


  • As you know it is a static language therefore you can not make any kind of dynamic web pages.
  • You have to write a lot of code to make simple web pages.
  • Always you need a browser to interpret perfectly.

What is XML?

In the 1990s W3C started to develop XML which is an acronym of Extensible Markup Language. As we know HTML is used for making the structure of a web page but sometimes we need to store data or transfer data to other documents.

Unfortunately, HTML can not meet our requirements in this particular scenario. That’s why w3c introduced XML which is perfect for storing data, transferring them, and also making structure.

This language is a special format that is perfectly readable by machines as well as humans. As with HTML, we write a tag that defines the data structure and how these data will be stored. When HTML is just a static markup language then XML is a dynamic markup language that has a lot of uses in the modern tech field.

Pros and cons of XML


  • Humans and computers both can read and understand very well.
  • You don’t have to worry about any syntax errors.
  • Unicode supported, it means you can use any type of Unicode supported language as data.
  • Portable and supported with JAVA.
  • As its name XML is very much extensible.
  • You can share or store your data between various devices very easily.


  • It is not too lightweight.
  • You don’t have any kind of Array or something like that where you can store data very easily.
  • It has a lot of alternatives and XML is slightly less readable than them.
  • Since it is not lightweight when you have much data then its size can be much bigger which is a problem for faster transportation.

Key Difference Between HTML And XML

We have covered the intro & basics of XML & HTML. But if you want to see key differences between XML & HTML then the below table will be very helpful.

XML is used for storing and transferring data also it is hardware and software independent.Displaying data is the only use of HTML.
XML has frameworks to define itself as a markup language.HTML is a complete markup language itself.
Though XML is not a programming language, it is not a presentation language as well.HTML is a pure presentation language which is just used for displaying and defining the structure of webpage data.
You are completely independent to make your own tag. You can define them as your wish.HTML has built-in or predefined tags. You can’t change them and you can not modify or create any tag if you want.
Since you can store and transport data it is a dynamic language.HTML is a static language because you can just show your data.
XML is a case-sensitive markup language.HTML is not case sensitive language.
Table 1: Difference between XML & HTML


These two are useful and powerful in different situations. Therefore it’s not the right decision to prefer one over another for any kind of situation. As an example where you just need a webpage and you store data with databases or something like that then you don’t have to use XML. Which will make your pages slow and much bigger size.

Again when you need to define your own tag then XML is the best choice over HTML. So, they have their own comfort zone or their own advantages. So, you have to analyze your situation to find out which fits you better.

Finally, I hope you liked the whole article and understood these differences as well as you have been introduced briefly in the article with HTML & XML. Please share and leave your comment below. Thanks 🙂

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