An HTML element is an individual component of an HTML document.
HTML Element Syntax
HTML Elements represent semantics, or meaning. For example, The
title element represents the title of the document. Most HTML elements are written with a start tag (or opening tag) and an end tag (or closing tag), with the content in between.
Elements can also contain attributes that define additional properties of an element. For example, a paragraph, which is represented by the
p element, would be written as:
We will learn about attributes in next chapter.
Note: All elements don't require the end tag to be present. These are referred as empty elements, self-closing elements or void elements. Learn more.
HTML Tags Vs Elements
Technically, an HTML element is the collection of start tag, its attributes, an end tag and everything in between. On the other hand an HTML tag either opening or closing is used to mark the start or end of an element.
However, in common usage the terms HTML element and HTML tag are interchangeable i.e. a tag is an element is a tag. For simplicity's sake of this website, the terms "tag" and "element" are used to mean the same thing — as it will define something on your web page.
Case Insensitivity in HTML Tags and Attributes
In HTML, tag and attribute names are not case-sensitive. It means the tag
<P>, and the tag
<p> defines the same thing in HTML which is a paragraph.
But in XHTML they are case-sensitive and the tag
<P> is different from the tag
Tip: We recommend using lowercase for tag and attributing names in HTML, since by doing this you can make your document more compliant for future upgrades.
Empty HTML Elements
Empty elements (also called self-closing or void elements) are not container tags — that means, you can not write
<hr>some content</hr> or
A typical example of an empty element, is the
<br> element, which represents a line break.
Note: In HTML, a self-closing element is written simply as
<br>. In XHTML, a self-closing element requires a space and a trailing slash, such as
Nested HTML Elements
Most HTML elements can contain any number of further elements, which are, in turn, made up of tags, attributes, and content or other elements.