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One of the first things we should talk about right off the bat is the difference between HTML and XHTML. Now, even if you're just getting started in the world of web design, you've probably heard of HTML, or HyperText Markup Language. For many years HTML was the only code you could use to create web pages. Now, you may have also heard of terms like ASP, JSP, Java Script, or CSS, but there and others are essentially add-ons. Every web page, at its heart, was made with HTML. But, in late 2001, the World Wide Web Consortium, which is a committee that determines the standards for the web, decided to discontinue HTML and replace it with XHTML. Now, this might sound kind of scary, but it's really not that big a deal.

XHTML, which stands for Extensible Hypertext Markup Language, is almost identical to HTML. The most visible difference between HTML and XHTML is their syntax. Basically, XHTML places stricter rules on the way its code is written, with the ultimate goal of making web pages more universally compatible with different browsers and devices. You can essentially think of XHTML as a cleaned up version of HTML. Now, does this mean you can't use regular old HTML in {italic}Dreamweaver CS3?{plain} Absolutely not. {italic}Dreamweaver{plain} works just as well with HTML as it does with XHTML.

But, what does all this mean to you if you're someone who's never coded a line of HTML at all? Well, not much. Because, the point of {italic}Dreamweaver,{plain} and this has been the case since it first hit the market, was to take the coding out of the designers' hands, and let the designer concentrate of designing. {italic}Dreamweaver{plain} has always had a good reputation among designers and programmers alike, because programmers don't have to worry about {italic}Dreamweaver{plain} changing their handwritten code, and designers can concentrate on creating web pages without knowing how to code at all. And, the code that {italic}Dreamweaver{plain} writes is always clean, and does contain a lot of proprietary, or unnecessary tags.

The difference between older versions of {italic}Dreamweaver{plain} and more recent versions, is that the latest versions, like {italic}Dreamweaver CS3,{plain} all write their code based on XHTML standards, instead of HTML. But again, if you don't know HTML or XHTML, you don't have to worry about it for the most part, because {italic}Dreamweaver{plain} handles all that for you. But, I should mention that if you're really serious about getting into web design professionally, you'll have to start learning XHTML eventually. Because even though {italic}Dreamweaver{plain} makes it easy to create and edit our web pages, sometimes the easiest and best solution is to go into the page's code and fix stuff manually. But, this being a {italic}Dreamweaver{plain} training title, we're not going to get heavily into XHTML. If you're interested in learning more about XHTML, I'd suggest checking out the learning XHTML title at And, if you really want to get mind numbingly specific information about the XHTML standard, visit the W3C's home page at

This is the website for the W3C, which is again, is the committee that determines standards for the web. And, if you look down here on the left, there's a link for XHTML right here. So, if you've got a free weekend, here's some nice light reading for you to curl up with, all about the XHTML standard. We're going to get more into the details of how {italic}Dreamweaver{plain} works within XHTML in the chapter on basics, but for now, I just wanted to give you a heads up that {italic}Dreamweaver{plain} uses the XHTML standard, rather than HTML.

Video duration: 3m 3s 10h 21m Beginner


HTML vs. XHTML provides you with in-depth training on Web. Taught by Garrick Chow as part of the Dreamweaver CS3 Essential Training

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