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Is HTML a Programming Language?

~ 4 min read
Is HTML a Programming Language


No, HTML is not a programming language because it cannot perform logical operations or algorithms. It is a markup language used for defining web content structure.

If you are new to programming languages then you will have heard different names such as Python, C++, and Java along with HTML. Though not a major name in a programming language people often refer to it as a programming language. However, is HTM really a programming language?  

The thing is, Unlike other major programming languages that have variables and can manipulate data i.e. Java or Python, HTML lacks any of these capabilities. It also doesn’t have conditional statements or iterative loops. This is why it is not considered a programming language. So, is that it? This is enough to know. Well, not exactly. Just continue reading the following for a better idea.

What is HTML?

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. It is used to create and design web pages. It uses tags and elements to structure and style the web pages. Hypertext can be defined as a piece of text that may refer to another piece of text. It is particularly the text with links to the other text. It may have sound, graphics, or video. The markup language is a way to tell the browser about the structure and style of the webpage. 

This is how a browser understands how to display the content of the page. Adding HTML around the “content” will highlight the nature of the content such as “this is a heading” or “this is an image”. It starts with a tag, content, and an ending tag. Take a look down below for a better idea.


In this example, you can see the BODY tag. This sends the message that it contains the content of our HTML page. With the <h1> tag, we have indicated that there is this one headline that will be on every page. The <p> tag will point out the paragraph and the <h2> heading will describe that there is a subheading as well. There will be h2 and h3 heading tags as well that will be the subheading within the subheading. 

Though you will find different other types of elements this will provide you an idea regarding the HTML.

Why is HTML Referred to As A Programming Language?

People with limited or no programming concepts often refer to HTML as the programming language which is not right. They misunderstood this due to not being familiar with the concept of programming.

Programming in simple words is giving instructions to the computer to perform certain tasks and for some creating a webpage is much like a programming task for them. However, in a more detailed and technical definition, programming is much about writing executable code for the computer so it will perform logical tasks, process information, and make decisions accordingly. 

On the other hand, HTML doesn’t fit the description because it lacks logical and procedural capabilities. All it does is define the page structure to the browser and present the content on that page. 

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What Is A Programming Language?

In case you are wondering, a programming language is a structured set of instructions that helps the developers to communicate with the computer. It helps developers to develop programs, applications and websites by specifying tasks and algorithms in a readable format. Now you will have an idea regarding HTML that it is not a programming language. Now let’s talk about how we can determine if there is a programming language involved.

   <h1>WEDEVX SDET BootCamp</h1>
   <h2>Why BootCamps?</h2>
   <p>This is a paragraph underneath my subheading</p>
   <h2>Another subheading</h2>
   <p>Here is more stuff I have to say, but <b>say it in bold.</b></p>

Checklist To Identify The Programming Language:

Don’t be confused about the programming language. Following is the checklist that will help you determine if it is a programming language or not:

  1. Analyzing if it can understand the logical tasks such as “AND, OR, and NOT” 
  2. Can it change data easily
  3. Understanding to work with machines and programs
  4. Is it as powerful as a turning machine
  5. If it is useful in developing software
  6. Can it organize information

In simple words, if it needs to be identified as the programming language then it should help the computer to perform these tasks in the most user friendly way possible.

What Is CSS and What It Is Used For?

CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets acts as the stylist for the web pages. With CSS, it is much easier to control the layout of the website and one can determine how the elements will be displayed on screen. It won’t be wrong to say that it is much about making the webpage appealing.

Designers widely use CSS to define colors, spacing fonts, and positioning of elements of a page such as text, images, or buttons. CSS can help to create a visually appealing design for the users that will be compatible with different types of displays and screen sizes. CSS allows designers to customize every aspect of a webpage’s appearance. It is a crucial tool in modern web development.

Does HTML Combine With CSS Qualify As The Programming Language?

The use of CSS and HTML is common in modern programming languages to display the content. This is where a question often arises “if the combo of CSS and HTML make HTML a programming language? “No” it is not. 

But this doesn’t mean that HTML isn’t something you shouldn’t talk about. The combination of HTML and CSS can be used to perform some cool stuff. On JSFiddle, developers often display how efficiently they calculate prime numbers using a complex algorithm called the Sieve of Eratosthenes. They perform this via HTML and CSS. It’s neat how they make these languages work with the computer’s brain!


Though HTML is not a programming language the importance of HTML language cannot be overlooked. It is easy to learn and writing your first program in it is rather easy. You just need a browser and text editor. Moreover, when you write your first program with HTML, you can check its performance instantly. If the program is working, you can see it quickly in your browser.

So, even though it cannot “Program” it can do different cool stuff depending on the coding experience of the developer. Get to know it well and learn it efficiently. Hope your concept about HTML will have been cleared. 

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Artur Aliev

Artur Aliev

Since 2013 i am building a vibrant online presence for e-commerce and retail brands across diverse industries. In 2021 I turned my passion towards the exciting world of programming and turned newfound knowledge into insightful articles that guide and inspire learners of all levels. While working with WEDEVX for almost a year i learned a lot about software testing, QA and coding bootcamps firsthand from instructors and top-earners in their field.


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