What is the Difference Between CSS and HTML?

HTML (Hypertext Mark-up Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) are core web scripting languages used for creating websites and applications. All web pages must use HTML or CSS to function, and nearly all of them use both.

A way to imagine how HTML and CSS work together is by picturing a wedding cake. The cake and the binding layers of icing are HTML—they keep the web page and its information together in the right places so that the result is a functional “cake.” 

CSS is what turns a plain old wedding cake into something unique and beautiful—rose petals, edible sparkles, intricate icing details, and of course, the wedding cake topper. That is, CSS gives a website style and design through colors, fonts, and layouts. 

The most basic difference between HTML and CSS is how they’re used; HTML is used for giving a page structure and purpose, while CSS is used for styling. But there’s much more to both languages and the practical differences between the two.

The Language of HTML

HTML is the language that informs the structure of web pages. If a web page were a bedroom, HTML would be the four walls, the door, and a bare-bones bed. HTML executes the essential purpose of a webpage.  

Developers use HTML for...

  • Publishing documents online with photos, tables, headings, lists, text, etc.
  • Selecting online information via hyperlinks, just by clicking
  • Designing forms for online transactions
  • Searching for info, making reservations, or ordering products and services

Several web browsers like Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox use HTML to know which part of a web page is a header or a footer, where paragraphs should go, and where images, videos, and graphics should be placed. It also translates the structure of a page between browsers and across desktop or mobile devices.

What’s more, HTML is the standard markup language that makes websites “findable” by search engines based on keywords and search terms contained in a web page.

The Language of CSS

If HTML is the bedroom, CSS is the personality or style you infuse into the bedroom—it’s the colorful bedding, the band posters on the walls, the extra throw pillows, the beanbag chair in the corner, the cozy rugs, and the vibrant wallpaper. 

CSS is known as the style sheet language for describing the presentation and design of a website and its page aesthetic. This includes background color, font, and page layouts.

CSS partners with HTML to interact with its elements, or inputs. It presents the plain-text of HTML in different ways, giving you ultimate control over design and presentation elements. However, CSS works independently of HTML, and it can be used with any structure-giving markup language.

Because CSS is more complex than HTML, it can get messy at times and create complications in code. But for what you sacrifice in ease-of-use, you gain in design control. 

What is the Difference Between CSS and HTML? 

There are fundamental differences in both languages, but the biggest to note with each are:


  • Creates the “skeleton” of the website
  • Focuses on plain-text
  • Specifies part of a web page and translates it to the web browser


  • Not technically a coding language; it instead interacts with HTML’s language
  • Used to create styles, fonts, and designs
  • It’s complex and requires more in-depth knowledge

Both are often taught to new coders first due to the accessibility of the programming language and intuitiveness of how the code is read.

HTML and CSS Pros

There are specific pros to using HTML as well, and while CSS and HTML are often used in conjunction with one another, web designers learn each and at times prefer one to another for the following reasons:


  • Easy to learn
  • Simple plain-text code
  • Free-to-use; no license required
  • Easy for browsers to interpret
  • Can function without CSS (though it won’t be very attractive)
  • Supports many languages
  • Lightweight and transferable across platforms
  • Huge community support

CSS Pros

  • More customizability than HTML
  • Broader range of functions
  • Quick website loading and less bandwidth consumption
  • Supports offline browsing
  • Compatible across devices
  • Low-maintenance
  • Decent community support
  • More intricate web page formats

Now that you have a more holistic understanding of the differences between CSS and HTML, let’s discuss what you can do with these development skills.

Who Uses HTML and CSS: Career Tracks

There are so many jobs available for HTML and CSS experts, but almost all of the titles will feature “developer” in them. 

Listed below are just a few types of careers one can acquire with CSS and HTML fluency:

  • Web Developer
  • Front-End Developer
  • Game Developer

Web Developer

Web developers, also known as web designers, are software engineers who specialize in website creation. Their duties include:

  • Full website builds – Creating a website and webpages from the ground up. This includes using HTML to build a website’s foundation and designing that foundation using CSS (though JavaScript code knowledge will definitely come into play).
  • Website functionality upgrades – Revamping a pre-made website to feature more graphics and interactivity as well as an improved user experience. Upgrades can range from small tweaks to complete restructuring.
  • Bug fixes – Missing pieces of vital code, 404 errors, and any other problems are considered “bugs.” They hurt the user experience because of potentially distorted web content and can cause customers to abandon a purchase. Having someone around to fix bugs is a crucial part of website maintenance.

As of March 2021, there are about 62,000 web developer jobs listed on Glassdoor.1 The average entry-level salary for web developers is around $65,000 per year.2

Front-End Developer

“Front-end” means client-facing; that is, a front-end developer works on the side of a web page layout that’s seen by people browsing the internet. Their main roles include:

  • Implementing visual elements – These developers design and create web applications, particularly from the viewpoint of a visitor. In this way, they marry the art of design and the science of programming.
  • Translation – Responsible for translating user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) wireframes to code.

  • Developing new features – Part of the duties of a front-end developer is to create new features that improve the user experience. They also have to pay attention to common complaints so they can make the appropriate improvements.

Because front-end developers usually have more experience and expertise with HTML, CSS, and sometimes JavaScript code, the average salary is about $77,000 per year.3 

If you’re wondering, what is Javascript used for? Follow the link provided for more information!

Game Developer

“Game developer” is a general title referring to someone who specializes in game development. These developers are specified because they usually have in-depth knowledge and skills revolving around designing games of almost any sort (complex or not).

Game developer duties include:

  • Game creation – This can cover everything from brainstorming to storyboarding and creating the game’s environment, concept, and characters. Design research and information-gathering are essential duties here.
  • Code creation – Creating the code used to build a game and all of its intricate elements are big parts of a game developer’s job. Editing code is the other side of code creation, as well as explaining that code to other developers.
  • Enabling specific features – Game menus, character dialogue, non-playable character (NPC) rules and motives, and artwork creation are just a few specific features a game developer needs to devote time and energy to.

Game development is fun, but it’s also a lucrative way to make money once you have the necessary expertise. While a number of variables play into how much game developers actually get paid, the average salary is about $65,000 per year.

Why HTML and CSS are Beginner-Friendly Languages

HTML and CSS are easy to learn and simply require practice to master. There are many ways to learn how to code using HTML and CSS, but not all ways of learning are made equally. 

Take a look at the three most popular educational options available:

  • Traditional schooling – This route is often the most in-depth and rigorous, but it’s also expensive and time-consuming. Traditional schooling is an acceptable option for college-age students and younger, but the stipulations make it a difficult route for the average adult.
  • Coding boot camps – Coding boot camps are lightning-fast and often hard to keep up with. As the name boot camp implies, there’s almost no flexibility in how you choose to learn or want to devote your time. In fact, online coding boot camps have less than a 10% completion rate.4
  • Educational programs – Educational programs aimed at teaching adults how to utilize HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are paced with the students in mind and built for success. For instance, Disney Codeillusion offers a program around teaching adults to code using Disney’s unique video games, movies, and animation.

To that end, there are many ways and reasons to learn HTML and CSS, but some are more entertaining and economical than others. 

Disney Codeillusion: Practicing the Magic of HTML and CSS

While there are fundamental differences between HTML and CSS, they work together to make a web page layout functional and beautiful. HTML creates the foundation of websites and applications, and CSS spiffs them up to look colorful, intelligently laid out, and intricately designed. Anyone can learn how to code using HTML and CSS, which opens the door to many skillful and lucrative jobs.

Because you care about the money you work hard to earn, and you want to invest in yourself the right way, you have to pick the right educational program to learn such a valuable skill. Disney Codeillusion is the best in the business when it comes to helping students master programming fundamentals. At Disney Codeillusion, we infuse our comprehensive foundational curriculum with the magic of Disney. To learn how to code like a pro, let the pros teach you.

When it comes to introducing valuable skills like HTML or CSS coding, Disney Codeillusion takes the cake. Start your free trial today so you can have your cake and eat it too!


  1. Glassdoor. Web Developer Jobs. https://www.glassdoor.com/Job/web-developer-jobs-SRCH_KO0,13.htm
  2. Glassdoor. Web Developer Salary. https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/entry-level-web-developer-salary-SRCH_KO0,25.htm
  3. Glassdoor. Front End Developer Salary. https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/front-end-developer-salary-SRCH_KO0,19.htm
  4. Disney Codeillusion. Coding for Adults. https://codeillusion.io/pages/coding-for-adults