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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

What’s Semantic HTML & Why Is It Necessary for Accessibility?

HTML, the markup language used to construction net content material, can are available two types: semantic or non-semantic. 

Each types are used interchangeably in net pages at present, and whereas HTML started as a non-semantic (solely) language, as the net advanced, writing HTML semantically has turn out to be the sensible commonplace. It’s because semantic HTML is nice for accessibility, web optimization, and total readability, as you’ll see under.

Why is semantic HTML vital?

We primarily use code snippets, referred to as parts, when marking up with HTML. An HTML aspect sometimes consists of a begin and finish tag, though typically just one tag is used (like for the <img> aspect). The .html file for this web page accommodates paragraph parts, and paragraph tags encompass the textual content of this very paragraph. It seems like this: <p>textual content</p>, the place <p> is the beginning tag and </p> is the top tag. 

Some HTML parts are used to group sure elements of HTML code collectively, just like the generally used <div> aspect. However <div> is non-semantic, so to specify sure <div> parts, net builders have so as to add an id attribute to determine and elegance that aspect. Nonetheless, the id attribute doesn’t all the time repair the semantic downside for net pages. 

Enter: semantic HTML. Examples of semantic parts are <nav>, <header>, <footer>, and <article>

  • <nav> accommodates and types the primary navigation bar, together with principally inner webpage hyperlinks. 
  • <header> is discovered on the prime of the webpage and sometimes accommodates the search bar, website emblem, identify, and so forth. 
  • <footer> is discovered on the backside of the webpage and often accommodates contact information, profession hyperlinks, and the web site’s privateness coverage. 
  • <article> is a component that accommodates full content material, comparable to this weblog publish or different write-ups. This tag is written inside the <physique> of HTML information. 

Semantic HTML describes the content material it explains, making it straightforward to parse for web optimization bots and absolutely anything else that should perceive the pages’ content material.

What are the advantages of semantic HTML?

There are three fundamental advantages to utilizing semantic HTML versus non-semantic HTML, all of that are associated to enhancing the consistency of internet sites throughout the web. Non-semantic HTML tags are extra ambiguous and require extra sources to interpret. When builders write semantically, they use standardized names for parts that browsers can determine, which helps make HTML extra interoperable throughout the web.


Utilizing semantic HTML improves accessibility in two methods. The primary is that it’s higher for cellular functions, as a result of it requires much less reminiscence than non-semantic HTML. (All these id attributes can actually improve file measurement.) The distinction isn’t that important for smaller apps, however actually can play a job for bigger web sites. Additionally, semantic HTML improves responsiveness as a result of the browser can interpret the code higher.

Another excuse why semantic HTML is so vital for accessibility is as a result of it tremendously advantages display screen reader customers. We need to guarantee a easy and seamless expertise for everybody, together with these with bodily and cognitive disabilities. Semantic HTML helps obtain this by clearly defining totally different sections of an internet web page and sustaining consistency all through the net.

Coding for accessibility is a giant a part of inclusivity, and in lots of nations, semantic HTML is even required by regulation.

web optimization

Search Engine Optimization (web optimization) impacts how excessive an internet site ranks on search engines like google like Google, and semantic HTML helps enhance web optimization by making the  content material of internet sites extra identifiable to search engines like google. Once more, browsers can interpret the code higher as a result of it understands the way to determine semantic HTML parts.

Non-semantic HTML can impression web optimization efficiency as a result of the browser is not going to learn the id attributes. Past website visitors, web optimization is vital for numerous different business-related causes that we solely brush the floor of on this weblog publish. 


Builders usually work on groups, so it’s vital their code is readable — and semantic HTML helps construction and arrange your code to maintain everybody on the identical web page. Whether or not you’re writing supply code for the primary time or are making fast updates, sticking to semantic HTML tags makes it simpler for everybody to grasp and navigate the codebase. 

Semantic HTML also can make coding in CSS simpler as a result of you possibly can fashion by way of the semantic aspect tags as a substitute of by an id attribute.

Study Semantic HTML with Codecademy

In the event you’re ranging from scratch, you possibly can study the fundamentals of HTML (together with semantic HTML) in our free course Study HTML. And in case you’re already acquainted with the fundamentals, you possibly can soar proper into Study HTML: Semantic HTML. And when you grasp HTML, transfer onto CSS and JavaScript.

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