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Difference Between HTML and XML [Compare Features]

05th Sep, 2023
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    Difference Between HTML and XML [Compare Features]

    HTML and XML are both markup languages that allow you to markup text in a way that makes it easier for computers to read. They're both used to store information in plain-text files, but they serve very different purposes.

    XML is more beneficial for content that is not human-readable, such as data about a product or service in an eCommerce store, because computers and other devices can easily read it. It also makes it easier to process data from multiple sources through a single API (application programming interface).

    HTML's advantage lies in its simplicity: it's easy to learn and understand, and many people already have a basic understanding of HTML thanks to its widespread use on the internet. If you're trying to create a website or app that will be used by people who aren't familiar with markup languages, then HTML will probably be your best bet.

    HTML and XML are crucial formats taught in web development courses worldwide. But what is a Web Development course, and how do they work? Web development is a field of computer programming that focuses on creating websites and applications. Web developers use HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other coding formats like XML to build a website's front-end or user interface. They also work with databases to store and retrieve data from their websites. Want to know more about how XML is different from HTML? HTML vs XML. Continue reading as we discuss the in-depth details about the topic and differentiate HTML and XML.

    HTML vs XML [Comparison Table]

    Here is a detailed comparison table of differences between HTML and XML:





    HTML is a markup language.

    XML is a data format.


    HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language.

    XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language.

    Types of Tags used

    HTML uses tags that are enclosed in angle brackets.

    XML tags are enclosed in square brackets or curly braces depending on the type of defined element.


    An HTML document can contain any number of headings (<h1>, <h2>, etc.), sections (<section>), paragraphs (<p>), and lists (<ol>, <ul>, <dl>).

    An XML document can contain only one root element and may contain other elements within it (like headings, sections, and paragraphs).

    Used for

    The structure of an HTML document is determined by its tags and attributes.

    There is no structure to an XML document because it doesn't have any tags or attributes it's just a series of nested elements within other elements (called a hierarchy).


    HTML works well for creating web pages.

     XML can be used for many other things, such as storing data in databases and sharing information with other programs or systems. This makes it easier for programmers to create applications that can understand the information being transferred between different systems.

    HTML is used to display content on a web page.

    XML is used to represent data in a hierarchical structure.

    Difference Between HTML and XML

    HTML and XML are two different types of markup languages. While both have pros and cons, let's look at some key differences between HTML and XML.

    1. HTML vs XML: Data Formats

    HTML and XML are two different data formats. HTML is a markup language that uses tags to mark up what is displayed on a web page. XML is also a markup language, but it uses tags to structure the data, not display it on the screen.

    HTML is used when you want to create web pages that contain text, images, and links, among other things. It's also used for creating forms and tables for storing information.

    XML is often used for storing data that computers can process. For example, if you have an inventory system that tracks all your products as they come in and go out, this could be stored in XML format so it can be easily read by any program that needs access to it.

    2. HTML versus XML: Programming Syntax 

    HTML and XML are two different programming languages for creating web pages. HTML is a markup language that uses tags to indicate how the text should be displayed on the screen. For example, if you want to make a text box appear on the screen, you need to surround that text area with <textbox></textbox> tags.

    HTML vs XML programming syntax


    XML is an acronym for "extensible markup language." It is a markup language like HTML, but it allows you to add information about how the text should be formatted in addition to just formatting it. For example, if your text box contains some numerical data, you could do something like <textbox>123</textbox>. In this case, 123 would be treated as a number not just as text. Want to get a highly-paid job easily? Check out our most in-demand Full-stack Developer course with placement now!

    3. HTML vs XML: Structure

    HTML and XML are not the same.

    To differentiate XML and HTML. Consider an example; an HTML document might look like this:

    <html> <body> <h1>My first HTML document</h1> <p>This is my first paragraph.</p> </body> </html>

    XML is a markup language that defines rules for storing data in a computer-readable format. XML stands for Extensible Markup Language and was designed to be readable by humans and machines. Software programs often use it to store information about users, such as their names or addresses. An XML document may look like this in the code format:

    <html> <person name="John Doe" age="24"> <address street="123 Main Street" city="New York City" state="NY" zip code="10001"></address></person></xml>  

    Anatomy of HTML Elements


    4. HTML vs XML: Case Sensitive And White Spaces

    One major difference between HTML and XML is that XML is case-sensitive while HTML is not. This means that while "camelCase" and "camelcase" will be treated as two different things in XML, they will be the same in HTML.

    Another difference between HTML and XML is that HTML treats white space differently than XML does. In HTML, white space doesn't matter. It's just there for readability purposes, and it helps break up content into easily digestible chunks for humans reading it. But in XML, white space matters! Every character counts because it has meaning in the language itself; missing or extra characters could break the entire document's structure.

    5. HTML and XML: Data Nature

    HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is a static language, meaning all of its data is stored in files before being displayed on a web page. The user has no control over this process; thus, HTML is called a "static" markup.

    XML (eXtensible Markup Language) is a dynamic language that allows users to add or remove information from their web page anytime. This means that XML can be viewed in real-time by users who want to see changes made immediately after another user has made them.

    6. HTML vs XML: Syntax Arrangement

    The XML vs. HTML difference is more than just semantics: the two languages have very different object compatibility. Because HTML is a human-readable language, writing code that can parse HTML files and display them correctly is pretty straightforward. The same can't be said for XML files; they're much harder to parse and display because they use tags with specific meanings instead of plain text, as HTML does.

    HTML is not as structured as XML, which stores data. Data is displayed, and interactive web pages with user interaction are made using HTML.

    XML uses HTML tags called elements (such as <html> <title> or <h1  >). The elements in an XML document have specific requirements for placement within the document and can be nested inside one another in any order. This makes it easy for software programs to read the document's structure without parsing it first.

    HTML does not have tag placement or nesting requirements because it was not initially intended for storing data. It was created for displaying content on screens quickly without having to parse anything first (which would have slowed down browsers).

    7. HTML vs XML: Closing Tags

    HTML and XML are similar in using tags to structure the text and control its formatting. However, there are some critical differences between the two.

    XML uses a tag-based syntax to define data structure, whereas HTML uses a hierarchical syntax. In XML, tags must be closed. In HTML, tags can be left open or closed. XML is case-sensitive, while HTML is not. The two languages handle whitespace (blanks and tabs) within code blocks.

    XML parsers process documents written in XML by analyzing their content for HTML elements and attributes, which are then converted into objects that can be used by programs written in other languages, such as Java or C++.

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    How are They Similar?

    HTML and XML are both markup languages, meaning they are used to markup text and add meaning. HTML and XML use tags to do this, but the tags in HTML differ from those in XML.

    In HTML, you'll see tags like <h1>, <p>, and <em>. These are called "tags" because they contain information about the text that follows them. For example, imagine you want to put a heading on your web page. The tag <h1> tells the browser that the following text will be big and bold; that's why it's a heading!

    XML uses different kinds of tags. They contain elements and describe what kind of content is contained within them. An element can be any other elements, text content, or special characters like line breaks or spaces between words (which HTML doesn't have).

    XML and HTML are widely used to display website content or send data between computers.

    What Should You Choose Between HTML and XML?

    If you're wondering whether you should use HTML or XML, the answer is simple: both!
    HTML and XML are two different ways of writing content on the web. While XML is easier for the machine to execute, HTML is more intuitive. Because of this, XML is used in different contexts.

    Tim Berners-Lee invented XML as an alternative to HTML, initially designed for use in browsers. It has since become a standard for storing data in databases and other applications.

    Both languages have their pros and cons. HTML is more accessible to write than XML because it doesn't require special formatting rules; however, it can be less efficient at storing data. XML requires more work upfront but provides more flexibility regarding how your content gets displayed in different contexts (such as search engines).

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    HTML and XML are the most fundamental coding languages for web development. They allow you to create a website from scratch or edit an existing one, and every web browser supports them. The KnowledgeHut Web Development course will teach you how to use these languages and other web-development tools like JavaScript, CSS, and PHP. You'll also learn how to create a professional portfolio that can help you land a job in the field of your choice. This course is for anyone who wants to become a web developer or design a website. It is also for anyone who wants to learn how websites are designed and built from scratch. This course is perfect if you are interested in learning more about the difference between HTML and XML coding!

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1What is HTML5?

    HTML5 is the newest version of Hypertext Markup Language, the standard language used to create web pages. It was developed by the W3C and is still under development. HTML5 allows you to create dynamic and interactive websites without using Flash or Java Script

    2What are the advantages of HTML over XML?

    HTML is a more compact language compared to XML. This means that it's easier to read and write and requires less bandwidth than XML. It also makes it easier for HTML code to be read by search engines.

    3Why is XML not a programming language?

    XML is a markup language and not a programming language. It is used to describe data in a more machine-readable format. XML provides a way to define data structure but does not provide the functionality to process that data.


    Sachin Bhatnagar

    Program Director, FSD

    With 20+ yrs of industry experience in media, entertainment and web tech, Sachin brings expertise in hands-on training and developing forward-thinking, industry-centric curricula. 30k+ students have enrolled in his tech courses.

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