HTML vs JavaScript – 7 Things You Need to Know


HTML and JavaScript are two of the main programming languages and technologies used to create web content. Both HTML and JavaScript along with CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) are the core languages which make up the basis of the World Wide Web. However, if you are getting into the industry, when it comes to HTML vs JavaScript there are some important differences you should know.

HTML or Hyper Text Markup Language is the standard language used to create web pages and applications. The first version of HTML was released in 1993, the latest version (5.2) was published in December 2017.

JavaScript or JS is the language used in web pages to enable interactivity and can be found in the majority of websites. It was created in 1995 and the latest version was released in the middle of 2018.

1. Usage of Javascript vs HTML


HTML is used when static web pages need to be created. JS is a scripting language more suitable for situations when dynamic functions are needed within a static page. HTML creates the basic structure of a web page and JS is a more advanced language used to add interactive features to the page.

HTML determines what to show and how, while Javascript can be used to dynamically determine what needs to be shown based on user input and other variables.

2. Integration



You are able to embed JavaScript within HTML but not the other way around. JavaScript can be added to HTML inline using the “script” tag and can be placed depending on when you need it to load.

If the script is used on many pages or is of a larger size, it can be better deployed as a separate file and linked to. Using a separate file has the advantage of making changes easier and allows the script file to be cached, speeding up loading times.

One needs to know that embedding script can typically create delays in website loading so such techniques as defer and async can be used to make your website faster.

You can read more details about this here: [How To] Fix Defer Parsing of Javascript Warning in WordPress Using Async

3. Compatibility



The HTML standard is compatible with all web browsers no matter how old or new they are, most of the time. Web browsers are normally able to deal with unrecognized code, typically ignoring this HTML and displaying the rest of the page correctly. Some consideration for older browsers should be given if using newer HTML5 elements, however.

JS, on the other hand, requires a software engine to run the script. JavaScript engines have been developed by the different browser companies, and this lead to competition to create the fastest software. While this is good, there have been issues with compatibility between the browser implementations. Though this is less of a problem now, some issues can still arise particularly with older browser versions.

4. Dynamic Content



JavaScript is able to provide the dynamic content that visitors have come to expect from websites nowadays. HTML by itself can only provide fixed content which is the same for every user visiting the web page.

JavaScript can be used to improve the user experience with compelling functionality. It can automate straightforward tasks or create complicated applications and everything in between.

JavaScript can change text, images, forms, among other elements, in response to visitor inputs or browser information. This is because it is an event-driven script, meaning that the code can be designed to wait for certain triggers and respond by running a routine when activated.

Also Read:- 4 Top Programming Languages to Learn in 2019

5. Client or Server-side

HTML is rendered on the server-side and JavaScript is a client-side program. What this means is that the HTML code is processed by the hosting server before being sent to the visitor’s browser. This static HTML created in the web pages are held on the site’s domain, the code rendered could have been created using dynamic languages.


JS is normally run entirely on the client’s machine. The JavaScript is compiled and then executed on the visitor’s browser. It is for this reason, that it is not advisable to use JS to deal with login details as it is not secure.

JavaScript engines have also found their way into server-side host software, found in databases and web servers.

Such technologies as node.js and similar technologies are now executed on the server side.

6. Ease of LearningHTML-vs-JavaScript


HTML is a markup language which uses tags which identify what they are intended to do. This readability can make it easier for someone to pick it up, as the commands make some sense.

JavaScript is a programming language, instead of describing what something is and does, it defines what actions should take place. A JavaScript command could define performing a calculation, moving a value from one place to another, testing a condition, or a range of other actions.

For this reason, learning JS would seem to be more difficult. However, if you know part of this programming language you can create code that just uses those commands. With HTML you need to know most of the language to be able to correctly create a page, missing out something crucial can break the whole page.

7. Limitations



HTML has the ability to take plain text and define how it should appear in the web browser. JavaScript offers much more functionality, including being able to detect a user action without reloading the page. This is how social media sites are able to let a user post a status update without the need to go to a different page, for example.

JavaScript is also used in other places beyond simply creating web pages. JS is used in some database applications, browser extensions, IRC clients and Adobe allow its use in their software. Learning JavaScript will give you more opportunities outside of just website creation, it is increasingly used in most modern applications.


When it comes to HTML vs JavaScript, though they are different languages, both are needed in the implementation of functional websites. HTML is a more simple language which is more limited in scope. JavaScript is more complicated but allows for the creation of better functioning websites.