Swapnil Banga | 11 Jan, 2023

HTML vs JavaScript: Which Should You Learn?

Interested in developing websites or apps? You have to start somewhere. Many programmers learn HTML and JavaScript at the beginning of their careers. But which language should you learn first: HTML vs. Javascript? 

While both are popular choices, they have vastly different purposes. For most, the answer is to learn both.

Let's explore the difference between Javascript and HTML to help you decide the best one for you.

What is HTML? [Definition]

HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, is a standard markup language used to create web pages and applications. HTML is the foundation of all web page content, and it determines the structure and layout of your page. You can use HTML for front-end development, alongside CSS and JavaScript.

What is JavaScript? [Definition]

JavaScript is a programming language used to make web pages interactive. JavaScript code can be embedded in HTML code, and it can be executed on your web browser. You can also use Javascript to develop mobile applications, as well as for both front-end and back-end development.

Next up: what’s the difference between HTML and Javascript? 

HTML vs JavaScript: Head-to-Head Comparison

What’s better, JavaScript vs. HTML? The features are notably different. Here’s a quick comparison: 





1993 by Tim Berners-Lee

1995 by Brendan Eich


Markup Language

Scripting Language













HTML and JavaScript have a close relationship. They were developed at the same time as the foundational backbones of the World Wide Web. Thus, HTML and JavaScript have evolved parallel to each other. But is Javascript HTML? Is HTML JavaScript? 

Major Differences Between HTML and JavaScript

If HTML and JavaScript work together to create a website, what are the major differences between HTML and JavaScript?

  • HTML is a markup language, while JavaScript is a scripting language.
  • HTML can be used to design a website on its own. For the most part, JavaScript can’t, although there are workarounds.
  • HTML is used to create the structure and layout of web pages, while JavaScript is used to add interactivity and dynamic content to web pages. 
  • HTML code is static, meaning that it doesn't change when the page is loaded, while JavaScript code is dynamic, meaning that it can change when the page is loaded. 
  • HTML is easy to learn and use, while JavaScript can be more challenging to learn. 
  • HTML is used for front-end development, while JavaScript is used for front-end and back-end development. 

As you can see, the languages are extremely different. However, they frequently go together. The major difference between JavaScript and HTML is that JavaScript is dynamic and HTML is static.

HTML: Design the Front-End of Beautiful Websites

With HTML, you can define the content of your web pages, including text, images, and links. While HTML is mostly static, you can also use HTML to add some interactive elements to your web pages, such as forms, buttons, and event handlers. 

HTML is easy to learn and use. If you're interested in creating websites or web applications, HTML is an excellent starting point. 

The Benefits of HTML

  • HTML is easy to learn and use. 
  • HTML is ubiquitous; most will need to learn it eventually.
  • HTML determines the structure and layout of your page. 

The Drawbacks of HTML

  • HTML cannot add significant interactivity or dynamic content to your page. 

Who Uses HTML?

Anyone who creates websites or web applications uses HTML. Even dynamic websites still require HTML for formatting. HTML is the basic foundation of web design and often the first language a web developer learns.

Career Outlooks for HTML Developers

According to ZipRecruiter, the average HTML Developer makes around $94,491. However, there's an extreme range of salaries, starting at $56,500 and ending at $154,500. This range likely relates to the other languages and technologies that the HTML developer knows.

HTML Developer Salary


While HTML is mostly static (not dynamic or interactive), there are some exceptions. Form elements, for instance, can be used to produce dynamic and interactive results on a page.

HTML5 is the newest version of the HTML specification. It was released in 2014 and is still in the process of being finalized. HTML5 introduces more dynamic and interactive elements to HTML, even though it is still mostly static.

The major difference between HTML and HTML5 is that HTML5 supports new elements, such as <video> and <canvas>, and new attributes, such as "autoplay" and "poster." HTML5 also supports new JavaScript APIs, such as the WebSocket API and the Geolocation API. 

So, HTML is becoming a more robust language, but it's still just a markup language rather than a scripting language. There would be no real comparison if you wanted to compare JavaScript vs. HTML5.

JavaScript: Develop Dynamic and Interactive Web Applications

JavaScript lets you define your web page’s behavior and interactivity. You can also use JavaScript to create web applications that run on your web browser. 

But JavaScript also does much more. You can use JavaScript to create server-side applications and mobile applications. You can also use JavaScript to connect to databases and access data. JavaScript is such a popular language that it can be used for quite a few applications — even if only through workarounds.

JavaScript is more challenging to learn than HTML. If you want to create dynamic and interactive websites or web applications, you should learn JavaScript.

The Benefits of JavaScript

  • JavaScript is a dynamic programming language. 
  • JavaScript code can be embedded in HTML code. 
  • JavaScript can be executed on your web browser. 
  • JavaScript is used for front-end and back-end development. 

The Drawbacks of JavaScript

  • JavaScript can be more challenging to learn than HTML. 
  • JavaScript code can be executed on your web browser, which can make your website slower. 

Who Uses JavaScript?

JavaScript is used by everyone who creates dynamic web applications. Front-end developers, back-end developers, and full-stack developers all use JavaScript. Through frameworks and libraries, JavaScript may also be used for mobile applications. 

Career Outlooks for JavaScript Developers

According to ZipRecruiter, the average JavaScript Developer makes around $125,436 as of 2022. Salaries start at $71,500 and end at $165,000. In general, JavaScript developers make more than HTML developers because of the language’s complexity.


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javascript developer salary

JavaScript: Extending with jQuery, and React

jQuery is a library that makes it easy to use JavaScript on your web pages. React is a framework that makes it easy to create reusable components for your web applications. With jQuery and React, you can extend your web page and application functionality.

jQuery and React are both popular methods of interacting with JavaScript, so much so that some developers often begin by learning React Native or jQuery. This is something to consider if you are interested in becoming a web application or even a mobile application developer.

CSS, HTML, and JavaScript

A third language you may see discussed alongside HTML and JavaScript is CSS. Most front-end developers will learn HTML, JavaScript, and CSS at the same time. 

CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, is a style sheet language used for describing the presentation of HTML and XML documents. With CSS, you can control your HTML document’s font size, color, and spacing. You can also use CSS to create responsive designs that look great on mobile devices. CSS resides in the space between HTML and JavaScript.

To create robust websites, a programmer will likely want to learn all three languages.

Are There Any Alternatives to HTML and JavaScript?

If you're interested in web development, you should learn HTML and JavaScript. However, there are some alternatives to these technologies. These include PHP, Java, and Python. Specifically, PHP, Java, and Python can replace JavaScript for backend development. 

However, if you want to create dynamic and interactive web applications, you should learn JavaScript. JavaScript is the only language that can be executed on your web browser — it's an interpreted language. PHP, Java, and Python need to be compiled.

javascript udemy


HTML and JavaScript are ultimately used for very different tasks. But despite their differences, they are both essential technologies for anyone interested in web development. These technologies are used by front-end developers, back-end developers, full-stack developers — and even mobile developers.

So, how do you decide between HTML vs. Javascript? 

If you want to design the look and feel of websites, format text, and display images, you want to learn HTML. 

  • Take a course on HTML online.
  • Try practice HTML projects.
  • Get certified in HTML.

If you want to develop interactive and dynamic websites, react to user inputs, and even store information in databases, you want to learn JavaScript.

Most experienced developers should know enough HTML to get by — but JavaScript is by far the more robust language. If you want to become a web developer or a full-stack developer, you don’t need to pick between CSS, HTML, or Javascript. Consider taking all three foundational languages at the same time. 

If you're looking to use your HTML skills to build your own website, we recommend using NameCheap to buy your domain name and web hosting services. They're the best in the industry and super affordable.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Should I Learn JavaScript or HTML First?

If you aspire to become a web developer, you should learn HTML first. If web application development is your dream, learn JavaScript first. But either way, you'll be learning HTML eventually. 

2. Is HTML Easier Than JavaScript?

HTML is easier to learn and use than JavaScript. But HTML doesn't have Javascript’s capabilities. While HTML may be easy to learn, it's extremely limited in scope. Realistically, you will likely learn HTML in the process of learning JavaScript.

3. Can I Use JavaScript with Python?

Yes, you can use JavaScript with Python. In fact, you can use Python to develop web applications that use JavaScript. Python is often used for back-end development, while JavaScript is used for front-end development. In terms of difficulty, they are similar.

4. Can I Learn JavaScript without HTML and CSS?

Yes, you can learn JavaScript without HTML and CSS. However, if you want to create websites or web applications, you need to learn HTML and CSS. HTML is used to create the structure and layout of web pages, while CSS is used to style the content of web pages. 

5. Is JavaScript Better than HTML?

Neither language is better. They're different languages that are used for different purposes. Most programmers will eventually need to learn HTML, but JavaScript is significantly more robust.

6. Is HTML Better than JavaScript?

HTML is better than JavaScript at website markup and design, but JavaScript is better than HTML at dynamic and interactive design. HTML is found in more places, and there are likely more developers who know HTML, but HTML has its limitations.

7. Can I Use JavaScript without HTML?

For web development, you largely can't use JavaScript without HTML. HTML is used to create the structure and layout of web pages, while JavaScript is used to add interactivity and dynamic content. But there are exceptions: some frameworks help you build entire web applications and mobile apps with JavaScript. The JavaScript will still produce HTML to be rendered in a web browser.

8. Is JavaScript like HTML?

No, JavaScript is not like HTML. HTML is a markup language that dictates a web application’s appearance, structure, and layout. JavaScript is a programming language used throughout dynamic web and mobile applications.

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By Swapnil Banga

Software engineer, hardware enthusiast, writer by avocation and a gamer. Swapnil has been working on Hackr for a large part of his career. Primarily working on Laravel, he is also the author of our React Native Android app. When not in front of a screen, you will find him devouring a novel or listening to heavy metal.

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