Difference between XML and HTML

Difference between XML and HTML

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Updated on Aug 27, 2023 21:27 IST

This article is about difference between XML and HTML. This article will tell you different advantages and disadvatages of XML and HTML.


XML stands for Extensible Markup Language. It’s a structured language for representing information, similar to excel for databases. In addition, it’s becoming the new standard language for creating web pages. Once you learn it, you’ll be able to format any information with codes and structures. This makes it easier to display your data in an organized way. Additionally, XML files are compact and easy to understand compared to HTML codes.

HTML is used extensively on the Internet because it is easy to learn and understand. Unlike XML, which is much more structured, HTML allows for a lot of flexibility in creating websites. Many people prefer using HTML over XML because of its ease of use and accessibility. In this article, we are going to see XML Vs. HTML. 

HTML and XML have recently become two of the most popular languages ​​used on the Internet. With different application possibilities, strengths, and weaknesses, these languages ​​can be used in different scenarios. Recently in some interview interviewer asked me to differentiate XML and HTML.So let’s try to find the differences with advantages and disadvantages of XML and HTML.

Table of Contents

Difference between HTML & XML

Parameter HTML XML
Purpose Markup language used for creating web pages Markup language used for storing and transporting data
Presentation Designed to define the structure and presentation of web content Designed to define the structure of data, with no predefined presentation semantics
Tags Contains predefined tags for structuring web content Allows the creation of custom tags based on the specific data being represented
Semantics Provides semantic meaning to web content elements No inherent semantics; meaning is defined by the user or the application
Document Type Must adhere to predefined document type definitions (DTDs) or schemas Does not have strict document type requirements
Data Interchange Primarily used for displaying web content in browsers Used for storing and exchanging data between different systems
Extensibility Limited extensibility with predefined tag structure Highly extensible; allows the creation of custom tags and structures
Validation HTML documents can be validated against predefined DTDs or HTML5 specifications XML documents can be validated against XML schemas or Document Type Definitions (DTDs)
Popular Applications Web development, creating web pages and web applications Data storage, data interchange, configuration files, data representation in various domains
Examples <h1>Heading</h1> <p>Paragraph</p> <person><name>John Doe</name><age>30</age></person>

What is XML?

XML (eXtensible Markup Language) is a markup language used for encoding documents in a human-readable and machine-readable format. It is a markup language like HTML, but unlike HTML, which is used primarily to display data on a web page, XML describes the data’s structure and meaning. XML allows developers to create their own custom tags and attributes, making it a flexible and extensible format for representing various data types and structures. XML documents can be parsed, validated, and processed by various software applications and programming languages, making it a popular choice for data exchange and storage.

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Features of XML

  • XML files make data transport easier in the case of applications that are incompatible in rendering other data formats. 
  • XML is compatible with reading machines making data accessible to blind people and people with other disabilities.
  • XML is extensible. It allows users to create self-descriptive tags in any language based on the application requirement.

Advantages of XML 

  • XML makes it easy to transfer data and information between different platforms. For example, XML makes it easy if you want to transfer data between an application and a database, but HTML does not.
  • XML lets you create your tags, but HTML doesn’t. XML stores data and information in different places than HTML. 
  • XML is platform-independent and can be included in any application that supports it. Unlike HTML, XML is dynamic and can create non-static web pages. XML is an extensible language. This means that information in XML can be updated or deleted at any time. 
  • XML simplifies the process of working with the information structure of your application. 
  • XML data can be easily transformed, and any application can easily read this data. 

Disadvantages of XML 

  1. XML could be tough to learn because it requires mastering strategies which include DOM, XPath, and XML Schema. Developers are more familiar with HTML.
  2. Parsing, validating, and processing XML can be CPU-intensive and require additional memory and disk space.
  3. XML documents can be large, and efficiency may be there while transmitting and storing.
  4. Error-prone: XML is sensitive to errors, such as missing closing tags or using the wrong attribute name, which can cause the document to be unreadable or cause errors in software that processes the XML.
  5. Limited query capabilities: XML does not provide a built-in querying language for searching and manipulating data, which can make it difficult to extract specific information from an XML document.
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Must Check: Free HTML course and Certificate

What is HTML?

HTML(HyperText Markup Language) is the same old markup language to broaden net packages and web pages. Each web page in HTML is hooked up through hyperlinks. With HTML, you may use JavaScript and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to broaden various net packages. The HTML code facilitates creating and shaping the files through diverse structural factors like headings, paragraphs, images, etc. The markup instructions within the net-primarily based content material symbolize the report’s shape. The browsers, in reality, study the report with the HTML markup and render the element’s content material at the display after inspecting the positioned HTML factors withinside the HTML report.


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Unlike HTML, XML is a case-sensitive language. In this markup language, codes can be written and modified by any text editors and are saved with‘.xml’ extension. XML stores data in plain text format and is easy to retrieve in comparison with other storage formats of databases. Since the data is stored in plain text format, data sharing becomes easier because of no dependency on either hardware or software. 

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Features of HTML

HTML has the following features:

  • All browsers use and understand HTML.
  • No need to use any specific software for HTML.
  • Programmers can write codes from text editors and do not require any additional application.
  • Its cache feature allows the storage of big files. 
  • HTML is very useful in formatting information for display.

Advantages of HTML

  • HTML is one of the first languages ​​beginners use when learning to code because it’s easy to understand and learn.
  • HTML is the standard language for developing websites. It is platform-independent and works with all browsers and applications that support it. HTML can embed programs in other languages, such as JavaScript, that affect the content and behavior of web pages. 
  • HTML has predefined tags that you can use to develop great websites. So you don’t have to worry about creating your own!! There are predefined tags such as headings, paragraphs, links, images, and many more.
  • HTML is not case-sensitive, and even minor typing and syntax errors will display the output on the web page in the browser. HTML can be easily integrated with CSS, JavaScript, etc., other languages, and popular backend languages. 

Disadvantages of HTML

  • HTML is a static language. The HTML web page stays the same until someone manually changes it. Plus, the dynamic output is not supported.
  • Even a simple website requires writing a lot of code. 
  • It takes time for developers to maintain page color schemes and design tables, lists, and forms using only HTML.
  • Safety is everyone’s priority. But HTML has one big drawback. Provides limited security features.

Note: To become a web developer, after HTML, he has to learn CSS, Bootstrap, and Javascript.

XML Vs. HTML: Key points

  • XML is tough to learn as it requires techniques such as DOM, XPath, and XML Schema. Developers are familiar with HTML because it is a simple technology stack. 
  • A well-formed XML document must have an end tag. But in HTML, Closing tags are not always required. For example, <br> tags don’t require </br>.
  • XML is content-driven, so it has few formatting options. HTML, on the other hand, is presentation driven. The appearance of the text is significant.
  • XML was originally designed to transport and store information.
  • In contrast, HTML enhances the appearance of text and data.
  • Users can create tags in XML. Tags are predefined in HTML. Users can use tags to create web pages based on their needs.
  • XML can result in large documents. HTML does not support long documents. Just add syntax to get the best-formatted output.
  • XML is dynamic because it is used for data transfer.
  • HTML is primarily used to display data and is, therefore, static.
  • XML is case-sensitive, but on the other hand, HTML is case-insensitive.
  • If there is an error in your code, the XML will not give you the final result. So XML is strict here. With HTML, you can ignore even the slightest coding error and still get results.


Both HTML and XML have their benefits. So in this article, you have seen the difference between XML and HTML. If you like this article, please like it and share it with your friends.

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How do XML and HTML differ in terms of semantics?

HTML provides semantic meaning to web content elements through its predefined tags. For example, the tag signifies a top-level heading, and the tag represents a paragraph. XML, on the other hand, does not have inherent semantics. The meaning of XML elements and their attributes is defined by the user or the application.

What is the main difference between XML and HTML?

The main difference is their purpose and usage. XML is primarily used for storing and transporting data, while HTML is designed for creating and structuring web pages for display in web browsers.

How do XML and HTML differ in terms of presentation?

HTML includes predefined tags with predefined presentation semantics, allowing web content to be visually rendered in web browsers. XML, on the other hand, does not have inherent presentation semantics. It focuses solely on defining the structure of data, with no predefined rules for visual rendering.

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