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HTML vs HTML5: Listing the Key Differences and Advantages

In this HTML vs HTML5 comparison, we list the key differences and advantages of HTML5 like the audio & video tags, vector graphics tag, etc.

HTML vs HTML5 Listing the Key Differences and Advantages Blog
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HTML, expanded as HyperText Markup Language is used to define the structure of the content in a webpage. HTML has its origins dating back to 1980 and its first version was officially launched in 1993. Since HTML5 is the most recent version, we will be discussing the key differences and upgrades that were introduced in HTML5. We will be able to understand the advantages that HTML5 has to offer when we pit HTML vs HTML5. We will also be exploring the history of HTML to see how it has transformed over the years.

If in case you don’t know how HTML works, it actually has a series of elements/syntax which you can use to structure and present the different parts of the content like heading text, paragraph text, bullet points, images, and so on. So it basically instructs the browser how to display the text, image, and other elements of a webpage. HTML is now being used with CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) and JavaScript to make the browser more dynamic. As one of the leading Software Testing companies in the industry, we believe that a good understanding of HTML will definitely come to use one day.

HTML’s History

As stated earlier, the beginning of HTML traces all the way back to 1980. Physicist Tim Berners-Lee, a specialist at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) proposed a new “hypertext” framework that can be used for sharing reports and documents. Ultimately, Tim Berners-Lee got together with renowned frameworks engineer Robert Cailliau to introduce the triumphant proposition called the World Wide Web (W3).

HTML 1.0

The main proper report of HTML was distributed in 1991 under the name ‘HTML Tags’. It is considered a PC relic in today’s world. Though this move was made in 1991, the initial authority proposition to change HTML into a standard was made in 1993 by the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force). The first version of HTML is regarded as HTML 1.0 and it had 18 elements.

HTML 2.0

HTML did not boom immediately and it also lacked a lot of basic features such as changing the font, including images & tables, and so on. So in 1995, IETF arranged for a gathering to create the HTML 2.0 norm that retained all the elements from HTML 1.0 and added a few features as well. This is the last set of HTML guidelines that were distributed by IETF.

HTML 3.2

The HTML guidelines started getting distributed by another standard association called W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) instead of IETF from 1996. So on January 14, 1997, the HTML 3.2 variant was distributed by the W3C. It introduced a lot of great features like Java applets, text streams around pictures, and so on.

HTML 4.0

HTML 4.0 (A revised variant of the first distribution of December 18, 1997) was distributed on April 24, 1998. It came with significant additions like CSS templates, the ability to remember little projects or scripts for the sites, working on the openness of the planned pages, complex tables, and upgrades in the structure. A rather update came in the form of HTML 4.0.1 on December 24, 1999. It was a modification and update of the HTML 4.0 form, so it didn’t address a lot of critical aspects.

HTML 5.0

With the distribution of HTML 4.0.1, the normalization movement of HTML halted as the W3C zeroed in on the improvement of the XHTML standard. So in 2004, organizations like Apple, Mozilla, and Opera expressed their anxiety about the absence of W3C’s interest in HTML and decided to arrange another affiliation called the WHATWG (Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group). Owing to the strength of the organization that made up WHATWG, W3C came back to the normalizing movement of HTML and distributed the initial HTML 5.0 drafts in March 2007 and the first authority draft on January 22, 2008. Corresponding to its movement with HTML, W3C also proceeded with the normalization of XHTML, a high-level adaptation of HTML.


HTML5 is no longer just a website builder, it has evolved to become an entire application builder on its own. Unlike older versions of HTML, which only allowed you to create primarily static sites that needed to be spiced up with CSS and JavaScript, HTML5 is much more dynamic and includes multimedia elements.

Audio and Video Tags

With the introduction of

Games & Interactive Media

Browsers can display interactive 3D graphics using the computer’s own graphic processor. The need for any extra software or plugin to run games or any interactive media in web browsers also has been eliminated.

Data Storage

HTML employed cookies to store temporary data. Whereas, HTML5 utilizes web SQL databases, web storage, and application cache for storing the data offline. Since it became possible to store the data on the user’s device, certain app functionalities will work properly even without having an active internet connection.

Vector Graphics

We were only able to add vector graphics in HTML by VML, Flash, Silverlight, and other such technologies. But HTML5 introduced the ‘svg’ tag that enables us to include vector graphics directly.


The ability of HTML5 to generate better forms, the elimination of the flash player dependency, and general improvements like the introduction of the header, footer, and nav that adds the much-needed structure to the website make HTML5 a more mobile-friendly option in this HTML vs HTML5 comparison.

Cross-platform support

Since HTML5 can be used for deployment across various platforms, it acts as a huge time and money saver during the development phase.

Drag and Drop

HTML5 made it possible for the objects on the page to move according to the user’s cursor movement. So HTML5 was also able to enable drag and drop effects that HTML lacked.

Font Options

The look of the webpages also greatly improved with HTML5 supporting more fonts that can be displayed in a wide array of colors and with different effects as well.

Character Encoding

The introduction of the charset attribute meant that the character encoding process which was long and complicated in HTML got simplified in HTML5.


It was not possible to track the geolocation of a user with HTML. But since HTML5 allows JavaScript to run in the browser, a user’s geolocation can be easily tracked using the JS GeoLocation API. So that’s another major win for HTML5 in this HTML vs HTML5 comparison.


In addition to that, the ping attribute that came in HTML5 makes it possible for a list of URLs to be notified if and when a user clicks on a particular hyperlink. So the geolocation tracking and such features make HTML5 more resourceful when it comes to tracking and monitoring usage.

Disadvantages of HTML5:

Now that we have seen the HTML vs HTML5 comparison, let’s explore the few downsides that need improvement.

  • Since HTML5 requires modern browsers to access it, users utilizing old versions of the browser will face issues while accessing a website. There are also browser compatibility issues. So users might get unnecessarily frustrated with the website though there are no issues.
  • The language is always a work in progress and so you would have to be constantly following for any changes that might cause issues to your site. Though we can benefit from improvements, practically it might work as a threat.
  • Since media licensing is an issue in HTML5, it cannot produce dynamic outputs. Though we can embed audio files, graphics, interactivities, and videos, we will not be able to use HD videos and rich visuals that will make us miss Adobe Flash.
  • The security elements offered are also very limited.


Despite the few advantages, there is no denying the fact that HTML5 is very easy to use in comparison to HTML all thanks to the simple syntaxes. A few HTML tags were even removed completely in the update and a few tags were changed to a different syntax. For example, ‘dir’ was changed to ‘ul’. We hope you had a good time reading our HTML vs HTML5 comparison and learned the key differences between the two as well. As one of the top QA companies, we will be constantly updating a lot of useful information through our blogs. So make sure to stay tuned to this space for more.


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