Difference Between XML and HTML

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 19, 2022, 6:02

XML and HTML are the same as well as different from each other in various aspects. Both are markup languages but differentiated by their purposes and usage. These are basic, easy-to-learn languages for anyone, whether you are a coding lover or a web developer.

Read on to check out the differences between XML and HTML, but before that, you need to understand both languages to differentiate between them.

What is XML?

Extensive Markup Language (XML) is a markup language used to store, carry, transfer the data to different platforms. It is used in web applications, mobile applications, and databases - a text language wrapped in some tags to store data.

The tags are also not predefined, and hence you can create your own tag, which is easily read by both humans and machines. Amongst its notable features, one is to simplify the data transferring process. It is a challenging task to transfer data in incompatible formats, and XML is stored in a plain readable format which facilitates the sharing process.

XML is also self-explanatory that is, the data describes both content and design. It also helps in upgrading and updating the operating systems without the loss of data.

Being a language in itself, it is also used to create new languages. Some of them are:

  • WSDL
  • WAP, WML
  • RSS
  • RDF, OWL
  • SMIL

What is HTML?

HTML is the short form of Hypertext markup language. It is a language used to create web pages and web applications. It is a basic building block in the world of web development.

Html is an easy-to-learn and simple language. It has a set of predefined tags for specific functions that need to be used properly; otherwise, the result will be different from expected. HTML instructs the browser where to use paragraphs, what should be included in the body, how many rows should be there in the table, what background colour is good for the text, etc.

Tim Berners Lee is known as the inventor of HTML. He released the first HTML document which was called HTML Tags in late 1991. Html is best suited for static websites because of its limited functioning. For dynamic websites, other coding languages like javascript are used.

Unlike XML, it is focused on the designing and appearance of the web page and not on carrying the data. Graphics, videos, sound, table, background colour are some of the functions that are performed with HTML.

Html was originally published for specifications like sections, paragraphs, headings. Later it was started using for wider purposes. Some of the basic HTML tags are

<p> for paragraph

<head> for heading

<Body> for the body of content

<title> for title

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Difference between XML and HTML




Full form

Extensive Markup Language.

Hypertext Markup Language.


XML is a markup language to carry, store and transfer the data.

HTML is a language for formatting and structure of the data.


XML is dynamic in nature as it is used for transferring data.

HTML is static in nature.

Primary focus

The primary focus is to change data between platforms by carrying data.

The primary focus is to structure the data by taking care of the design and appearance.

Case sensitivity

It is Case sensitive. Uppercase and lower case are considered.

It is Case insensitive.


No predefined tags. The developer can create his own tag.

Set of predefined tags which need to be followed for the desired outcome.

Closing tag

It is important to close the tag that is opened otherwise the transferring of data will be corrupted.

It is not mandatory to use a closing tag.


It is not a presentation language as it is related to content.

It is a presentation language because of the design feature.

Scope of Error

There is no scope of error. The data that needs to be transferred should be correct.

Small errors can be ignored and desired outcomes can be achieved.

We saw in-depth what are XML and HTML and how they are different from each other. XML is used to store and transfer data while HTML is responsible for the designing or formatting of the data. Both are an integral part of the world of web development.

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FAQs on Difference Between XML and HTML

Q.1. Is XML a programming language?

Extensive Markup Language(XML) is not a programming language as it does not perform computation and algorithms like other programming languages.

Q.2. What is HTML used for?

HTML is a language of web pages used for the formatting and layout purposes of the text document.

Q.3. What is hypertext in HTML?

Hypertext is the highlighted text which helps you browse other web pages by simply clicking the text.

Q.4. What is the key difference between XML and HTML?

The key difference between XML and HTML is that HTML is used for the structure and display of data on the user screen while XML is used for storing and transferring data.