Do All Websites Need HTML?

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HyperText Markup Language, or HTML, has been around for decades. Web browsers use it to represent text, images, videos, and everything else that can be viewed on web pages. Since it’s been around for so long, surely something better has been developed, right?

You may have asked yourself, do all websites need HTML? That’s an excellent question. In this article, we’ll talk about what a web page needs so that we can properly view it in a browser.

Do All Websites Need HTML?

Believe it or not, yes, all websites do need HTML. No matter how complex or simple a website is, they all require HTML for us to be able to view them. All websites rely on this programming language.

An HTML document contains all rules and commands that a web browser uses to interpret and render a web page. But HTML isn’t the only thing a web page needs to work properly.

Before displaying in your browser, a web page is simply an HTML file, much like any other type of document you’d create with a word processing app. It contains all the elements and a list of rules for how the information should be displayed.

When you open a browser and navigate to a web page, the browser sends a request to the server which contains the HTML document. Your browser will then translate the document and put all the elements in place so you can view it as the editor intended.


HTML is a language with its own rules necessary for properly displaying information on a screen. It uses tags, which are like keywords, and rules for what the browser should do with the information contained within the HTML document. For example, tags define where paragraphs are, where to embed images, how to interpret outgoing links and many other things.

An HTML tag is a piece of markup language that specifies the beginning and the end of an element in an HTML document. Tags are an essential part of the HTML language; they tell the browser what to do with the details within them.

CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, go hand-in-hand with HTML. CSS is a programming language that tells the HTML of a web page how to appear. This includes things like fonts, colors, and layouts. CSS assists in properly laying out a web page on different devices of different sizes, such as computer screens or smartphones.

HTML and CSS are not interchangeable. CSS can be used within an HTML document; however, HTML can’t be used in a CSS file. Both are required for website building, but they are two separate entities. HTML files are quickly loaded in a web browser, but CSS files have a slower loading time.

HTML is the basic foundation of the information needed for a web page. CSS assists with putting things in their proper place. You could call HTML the structure of a web page; CSS is its style. But there’s still another component that’s common to all websites.

Do All Websites Need HTML


Just as all web pages use HTML and CSS, they also use JavaScript. JavaScript is another language, and it’s more complex than HTML and CSS. It allows web pages to have much more functionality. Things such as search windows, embedded videos, and even refreshing your news feed are all handled by JavaScript. It allows web pages to become user interactive.

JavaScript allows for interactive user engagement on a web page. So, if HTML is a page’s foundation, and CSS is its style, then JavaScript is its behavior. These three constructs are common to almost all websites. Without CSS and JavaScript, a web page would be incredibly basic.

JavaScript isn’t only used to add functionality to web pages. It’s also a key component in software, hardware controls, gaming apps, and servers.

HTML and Website Building

If the answer to do all websites need HTML is yes, then you might ask how it’s possible to build a website without using it. Many different platforms and apps claim you don’t need to know anything about HTML or coding to create a website. How is this possible, you ask? The answer is quite simple.

Web page designers who have no knowledge about HTML or coding can create websites using what’s known as a CMS or Content Management System. A CMS essentially writes the code for you by using templates and extensions.

They are user-friendly and can assist you in creating websites without writing one line of code. Popular Content Management Systems are WordPress, Wix, and HubSpot.

Static vs. Dynamic Websites

When discussing HTML and websites, there are two main types; static and dynamic. Both use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, but each will display content differently.

A static website shows the same content to every user viewing its web page. They work best for sites that don’t require frequent updating of information or real-time updates. A good example of a static website would be one that simply provides information that never changes. These are typically one-page websites or landing pages. Static websites are very fast to load.

Dynamic websites are a bit different. The content a viewer will see is determined by that user’s behavior or user-generated content. Examples of a dynamic website would be to display pertinent information based on a viewer’s location or their past actions. Examples of dynamic websites are weather-based sites and social media like Instagram.

HTML Is a Necessary Part of All Websites

Do all websites need HTML? You now know that the answer is yes. But websites need more than just HTML. CSS and JavaScript are also required components of websites to give them style and functionality.

Designers can create websites without coding or HTML knowledge using a Content Management System. So, you can create a web page without coding since a CMS will do the coding for you.

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