HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language, the primary markup language used to create web pages. HTML is comprised of elements called tags that are enclosed in angle brackets, like or , contained in the source code of a webpage. These tags generally appear in pairs, start and end tags (also called opening and closing tags), like


, in between which developers place text, formatting instructions, comments and other varieties of text-based content that are read by web browsers.

Developed by physicist and Internet pioneer Tim Berners-Lee, web browsers read HTML and use it to interpret and display text, images, videos, audio and other elements and translate them into visible and audible web pages. The HTML standard is maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium or W3C, an organization founded by Berners-Lee for the purpose of cooperative development of standards and protocols for the World Wide Web.

The latest variant of HTML is HTML5, which has been recommended as a standard to the W3C, but has not yet been adopted. HTML5 introduces a variety of new elements and attributes, as well as integration of scalable vector graphics (SVG) content. While no longer based on the same core Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) as the original HTML, HTML5 is structured to be backward-compatible with the common parsing of elements in older versions of the language.