Difference Wiki

HTML vs. CSS: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 26, 2023
HTML is the structure of web content; CSS styles it.

Key Differences

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) are foundational web technologies. While HTML is used for structuring the content of a web page, CSS is employed to determine its appearance. For instance, imagine constructing a house: HTML would be the bricks and mortar, whereas CSS would be the paint and decoration.
In another comparison, HTML is like the skeleton of the body, offering shape and structure, while CSS is like the skin and clothes, giving the body its color and style. When browsing websites, you're looking at a combination of both HTML content and its CSS styling.
When creating a website, HTML lays the groundwork. It defines elements like headers, paragraphs, and links. CSS, on the other hand, modifies how these elements look by specifying fonts, colors, spacing, and more. You can have an HTML website without CSS, but it would appear plain and unstyled.
An important point to note is that HTML and CSS are not programming languages. HTML is a markup language that structures content, and CSS is a stylesheet language that describes the presentation of this content. Together, they allow developers to build and style websites to be both functional and visually appealing.

Comparison Chart


Defines the structure of web content.
Describes the appearance and formatting of the content.


Can stand alone without CSS to create basic web pages.
Needs HTML elements to apply styles.

File Extension

.html or .htm


Content is written directly in HTML.
Styles can be embedded in HTML or linked externally via CSS files.

HTML and CSS Definitions


Hypertext Markup Language used for structuring web content.
My website is written in HTML.


A means to apply colors, fonts, and spacing to web documents.
If you want a fancy font or a specific layout, you'll need CSS.


A standard markup language for documents designed for web browsers.
Every webpage you visit is constructed using HTML.


A stylesheet language that styles and formats web content.
I used CSS to change the background color of my webpage.


The foundation upon which web pages are built.
HTML is to websites what foundations are to houses.


The tool that provides the visual design for HTML content.
With CSS, I can make the text on my site larger or smaller.


The language that defines elements like links, paragraphs, and headers on a webpage.
By using HTML, I can create headings and links on my site.


The language that dictates how HTML elements are visually presented.
CSS lets me choose the exact shade of blue for my website's headings.


The code that determines the framework of a webpage.
Without HTML, a webpage would lack structure.


Responsible for the aesthetic appearance of websites.
The sleek design of modern websites is largely thanks to CSS.


A markup language used to structure text and multimedia documents and to set up hypertext links between documents, used extensively on the World Wide Web.


A set of tags and rules (conforming to SGML) for using them in developing hypertext documents


Can I use CSS to create animations?

Yes, using keyframes and transition properties, you can create animations with CSS.

How does CSS differ from HTML?

While HTML provides the structure of a webpage, CSS styles its appearance.

Can a website exist without CSS?

Yes, but it would be unstyled and appear plain.

What is HTML used for?

HTML is used for structuring the content of a web page.

How is CSS integrated into a webpage?

CSS can be embedded in HTML directly or linked externally via CSS files.

Why do web developers separate HTML and CSS?

Keeping structure (HTML) separate from design (CSS) makes websites easier to maintain and scale.

How is HTML integrated into a webpage?

Content is written directly in HTML or embedded within a CMS.

Are HTML and CSS programming languages?

No, HTML is a markup language, and CSS is a stylesheet language.

What does "Cascading" in CSS mean?

It refers to the priority order of styles applied to an HTML element when there are multiple sources of style information.

What's the primary file extension for CSS?


Can you use CSS without HTML?

No, CSS needs HTML elements to apply styles.

How do I link a CSS file to my HTML document?

Use the tag in the HTML head section.

Can HTML display images on a web page?

Yes, using the tag.

Can CSS change the size of an image displayed in HTML?

Yes, with properties like width and height.

What's the primary file extension for HTML?

.html or .htm.

How do I add a background color using CSS?

Use the background-color property in your CSS.

Can one web page use multiple CSS files?

Yes, multiple CSS files can be linked or embedded in a single HTML page.

Do all browsers interpret HTML and CSS the same way?

Mostly, but there can be slight differences in rendering between browsers.

Can I style a website using only HTML?

While HTML has some styling capabilities, CSS offers far greater flexibility and control over appearance.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons