Browsers and Basic HTML Syntax

Understanding how browsers interpret HTML and mastering the basic HTML syntax is fundamental in web development. In this tutorial, we’ll delve into the intricacies of HTML rendering and the essential syntax you need to create web pages.

How Browsers Interpret HTML

When you load a web page in a browser, the browser interprets the HTML code to render the page. Here’s how it works:

  1. Parsing: The browser starts parsing the HTML code from top to bottom.
  2. Document Object Model (DOM): As it parses the code, the browser builds a tree-like structure known as the DOM. This tree represents the page’s structure and content.
  3. Rendering: The browser renders the web page based on the DOM tree and applies styles from CSS. It arranges elements on the page, applies formatting, and displays text and media.
  4. Interactive Elements: The browser handles interactive elements like forms, buttons, and links, allowing users to interact with the page.
  5. JavaScript: If JavaScript is present, the browser executes JavaScript code to add interactivity and manipulate the page.

Understanding how browsers interpret HTML is crucial for writing code that produces the desired output on different browsers.

Basic HTML Syntax

HTML documents follow a specific syntax. Elements are the building blocks of HTML, and each element is defined by tags enclosed in angle brackets.

Document Structure

A basic HTML document structure consists of the following elements:

  • <!DOCTYPE html>: Specifies the document type.
  • <html>: The root element that encapsulates the entire HTML document.
  • <head>: Contains meta-information about the page.
  • <meta charset="UTF-8">: Sets the character encoding to UTF-8 for proper text rendering.
  • <title>: Defines the title displayed in the browser tab.
  • <body>: Holds the visible content of the web page.

Elements and Tags

HTML elements consist of a pair of tags:

  • <tagname>: Opening tag.
  • Content goes here: The content of the element.
  • </tagname>: Closing tag.

For example, a simple paragraph:


HTML elements can have attributes that provide additional information. Attributes are defined within the opening tag.

For example, an image with an src attribute:

Nesting Elements

HTML elements can be nested inside other elements. The hierarchy of elements creates the page structure.


Mastering the basic HTML syntax and understanding how browsers interpret HTML are foundational skills for web development. In the following sections, we’ll explore text formatting, links, images, forms, and more, enabling you to create rich and interactive web pages. Stay engaged as we build upon this knowledge in our HTML journey.