What content strategy and technology will leading brands use in 2024?

The state of digital content 2024

Industry insights

HTML document file – a guide to webpage language

by Casey Schmidt  |  May 7, 2020

3 min. read
An animated HTML sign.

HTML is an acronym for Hypertext Markup Language. HTML files are text-only documents that contain highly interactive content and are designed specifically for digital viewing. This means they’re optimal as an on-screen viewing file rather than a printed format.

It’s easy to open an HTML text file – simply use the web browser of your choice. Converting work directly into HTML format is possible through things like Microsoft Word, which has capabilities to save in HTML for use in a browser. With that in mind, let’s take a look at key HTML features and how your company can take advantage of them.

Beneficial HTML features

HTML is helpful to users in many unique ways. One lesser-known way is it’s designed to display on a webpage. For example, if a user is viewing a HTML webpage on a slow connection, pieces of the webpage will appear bit by bit, allowing the user to take in parts of the page rather than wait for the entire thing to load. This ensures each user, regardless of internet connection, has the chance to enjoy a large website.

A laptop with HTML code on it.
HTML document files open with web browsers.

HTML is, like many other document file types, opened by every web browser on the market, but what makes it really stand out is that it’s very mobile-accessible. As the mobile usage continues its steady uptick, HTML will continue to thrive as it works great for mobile browsing. Consider how many users access websites using smartphones and it’s clear that HTML has a strong future.

Should your company use HTML?

The smaller size of HTML is a huge benefit for companies that don’t have unlimited space. It’s also helpful for enterprises that need to download and upload files quickly. The HTML’s small size is the result of a lack of multimedia. Note that even though HTML is text-only, the page images are assigned in each file. So, does this mean your company should be using HTML document files?

A woman using her laptop, working on coding.
HTML files are accessible on mobile devices.

If the goals of your company are to craft webpages designed for mass consumption, HTML should be your document file type of choice. It is capable of syncing with browsers, including mobile browsers, for strong on-screen appearance. The smaller size makes it easy to share among team members, further optimizing efficiency. At the end of the day, the most important aspect to consider is your company website and its accessibility.

When to use different document types

The visual appearance of a webpage constructed with HTML is restricted by outside factors such as the technology of the hardware accessing the webpage or the browser. If your webpage layout requires extensive consistency, message or company product, HTML might not be the best bet. This is because variables could make the webpage look different to various users. If this seems like it would affect you, consider some HTML alternatives.

HTML code on a computer screen.
Most companies are moving toward using HTML.

If you’re a user with limited technological knowledge, HTML will take a lot more effort and time to use effectively. This is most apparent in construction of webpages, typically on the company website. Consider alternatives if time is a factor in building a webpage or completing a project. Also, gauge your company’s overall technical know-how when deciding which document file type fits best.

HTML is a complex document file intended for building webpages, but there are alternatives out there when necessary. Balancing the benefits and learning the negatives creates clarity in the decision.