XHTML – A Step Ahead of HTML

XHTML is a language very similar to HTML. Its family document types are Extensible Markup Language (XML) based. It is a cleaner and more restricted version of HTML. XHTML 1.0 is the first document type in the XHTML family and is only slightly different from HTML 4.01. Therefore, a person who knows HTML takes little time in learning XHTML. As VOVA, Coventry deals with web design and development, we use XHTML on a daily basis to build websites. It is no doubt a useful medium for designers and developers, allowing them to create highly customised web pages.

How is XHTML Better?

One step up from HTML4, XHTML combines the advantages of XML and HTML4. XHTML is stricter than HTML in coding and structure. In HTML, you can get away with carelessness, but XHTML doesn’t allow it. Some of the things mandatory in XHTML are inclusion of doctype indictor in all documents, lowercase tag names, proper nesting of tags, proper closing of tags, quotation in attributes, and proper document structure.

Even though it is stricter, developers have made the transition from HTML4.01 to XHTML to get the strength of both XML and HTML. Developers at VOVA, Coventry have always been the first ones to walk on the continuous learning path that web developing today is. Well versed with XML, HTML and XHTML, we have created highly professional web pages, customised to suit the brand image of the client.


As HTML and XHTML are very similar, developers might feel it unnecessary to learn XHTML. But it can be detrimental and can pose problems in the future because XHTML is an advancement to HTML. Web developers know from the past that you have to keep moving with technological advancement to stay competitive. XHTML is not only tighter code, but also XML based. Here, VOVA, Coventry shares important differences between HTML and XHTML that reveals XHTML’s strength:

  • HTML is SGML-based whereas XHTML is XML-based.
  • HTML is extended from SGML while XHTML is extended from XML and HTML.
  • HTML allows for careless errors due to its flexible framework. XHTML requires stricter code and structure.
  • HTML documents have three components – two element tags and attributes within those tags. In XHTML, you have to put all elements and attribute names in lower case and any attribute values must be quoted.
  • HTML is more flexible in the sense that it allows shortcuts because the code doesn’t necessarily need to be immaculate. In XHTML, however, all elements must either have closing tags or be written in a special form. Also, all elements must be nested properly.

HTML4.01 is valuable just as XHTML is. But, XHTML is an enhancement and as W3C says
“the next step in the evolution of the Internet.”

Migrating from HTML to XHTML

Developers at VOVA, Coventry use XHTML, and scripting and programming languages to create professional web pages with the functions and design required to create a strong web presence. We migrated to XHTML and believe it to be beneficial. As suggested by W3C, here are the changes that developers experience when they migrate to XHTML:

• As XHTML documents are XML conforming, they can be readily viewed, edited, and validated with standard XML tools.
• XHTML documents utilise applications (e.g. scripts and applets) that rely upon either the HTML Document Object Model or the XML Document Object Model [DOM].
• The XHTML family will evolve and documents conforming to XHTML 1.0 will interoperate within and among various XHTML environments.
• XHTML documents can be written to operate as well or better than they did in existing HTML 4-conforming user agents and in new XHTML 1.0 conforming user agents.

XHTML is worth learning and working on. All major browsers support it and even if it requires a stricter code and structure, VOVA, Coventry recommends the migration from HTML to XHTML.