Dynamic Hypertext Markup Language:ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES


Dynamic HTML, or DHTML, is a term which was used by some browser vendors to describe the combination of HTML, style sheets and client-side scripts that enabled creation of interactive and animated documents. The application of DHTML was introduced by Microsoft with the release of Internet Explorer 4 in 1997.

Dynamic HyerText Markup Language (DHTML) is a combination of Web development technologies used to create dynamically changing websites. Web pages may include animation, dynamic menus and text effects. The technologies used include a combination of HTML, JavaScript or VB Script,
CSS and the document object model (DOM).

While DHTML enhances the website user’s experience, the technology may also be frustrating for users when it is used incorrectly. For example, a website menu with flashy DHTML animations can easily confuse user navigation. Another DHTML issue occurs when Web developers attempt to create cross-browser DHTML, which is very difficult.

For Web developers, DHTML poses the following problems:

  • It can be difficult to develop and debug because of lack of Web browser and technological support.
  • DHTML scripts may not work correctly in various Web browsers.
  • The Web page layout may not display correctly when it is developed to display in different screen size combinations and in different browsers.

As a result of these problems, Web developers must determine whether DHTML enhances the user experience in any given context. Most Web developers abandon complex DHTML and use simple cross-browser routines

Key Features: Following are the some major key features of DHTML: 

  • Tags and their properties can be changed using DHTML.
  • It is used for real-time positioning.
  • Dynamic fonts can be generated using DHTML.
  • It is also used for data binding.
  • It makes a webpage dynamic and be used to create animations, games, applications along with providing new ways of navigating through websites.
  • The functionality of a webpage is enhanced due to the usage of low-bandwidth effect by DHTML.
  • DHTML also facilitates the use of methods, events, properties, and codes.

Why Use DHTML? 
DHTML makes a webpage dynamic but Javascript also does, the question arises that what different does DHTML do? So the answer is that DHTML has the ability to change a webpages look, content and style once the document has loaded on our demand without changing or deleting everything already existing on the browser’s webpage. DHTML can change the content of a webpage on demand without the browser having to erase everything else, i.e. being able to alter changes on a webpage even after the document has completely loaded. 


  • Size of the files are compact in compared to other interactional media like Flash or Shockwave, and it downloads faster.
  • It is supported by big browser manufacturers like Microsoft and Netscape.
  • Highly flexible and easy to make changes.
  • Viewer requires no extra plug-ins for browsing through the webpage that uses DHTML, they do not need any extra requirements or special software to view it.
  • User time is saved by sending less number of requests to the server. As it is possible to modify and replace elements even after a page is loaded, it is not required to create separate pages for changing styles which in turn saves time in building pages and also reduces the number of requests that are sent to the server.
  • It has more advanced functionality than a static HTML. it is capable of holding more content on the web page at the same time.


  • It is not supported by all the browsers. It is supported only by recent browsers such as Netscape 6, IE 5.5, and Opera 5 like browsers.
  • Learning of DHTML requires a lot of pre-requisites languages such as HTML, CSS, JS, etc should be known to the designer before starting with DHTML which is a long and time-consuming in itself.
  • Implementation of different browsers are different. So if it worked in one browser, it might not necessarily work the same way in another browser.
  • Even after being great with functionality, DHTML requires a few tools and utilities that are some expensive. For example, the DHTML text editor, Dreamweaver. Along with it the improvement cost of transferring from HTML to DHTML makes cost rise much higher. 

Difference between HTML and DHTML: 

  • HTML is a markup language while DHTML is a collection of technologies.
  • HTML is used to create static webpages while DHTML is capable of creating dynamic webpages.
  • DHTML is used to create animations and dynamic menus but HTML not used.
  • HTML sites are slow upon client-side technologies whereas DHTML sites are comparatively faster.
  • Web pages created using HTML are rather simple and have no styling as it uses only one language whereas DHTML uses HTML, CSS, and Javascript which results in a much better and way more presentable webpage.
  • HTML cannot be used as server side code but DHTML used as server side code.
  • DHTML needs database connectivity but not in case of HTML.
  • Files in HTML are stored using .htm or .html extension while DHTML uses .dhtm extension.
  • HTML requires no processing from the browser but DHTML does.

Components of Dynamic HTML

DHTML consists of the following four components or languages:https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.517.2_en.html#goog_1251198877

  • HTML 4.0
  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • DOM.

HTML 4.0

HTML is a client-side markup language, which is a core component of the DHTML. It defines the structure of a web page with various defined basic elements or tags.


CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheet, which allows the web users or developers for controlling the style and layout of the HTML elements on the web pages.


JavaScript is a scripting language which is done on a client-side. The various browser supports JavaScript technology. DHTML uses the JavaScript technology for accessing, controlling, and manipulating the HTML elements. The statements in JavaScript are the commands which tell the browser for performing an action.


DOM is the document object model. It is a w3c standard, which is a standard interface of programming for HTML. It is mainly used for defining the objects and properties of all elements in HTML.

Uses of DHTML

Following are the uses of DHTML (Dynamic HTML):

  • It is used for designing the animated and interactive web pages that are developed in real-time.
  • DHTML helps users by animating the text and images in their documents.
  • It allows the authors for adding the effects on their pages.
  • It also allows the page authors for including the drop-down menus or rollover buttons.
  • This term is also used to create various browser-based action games.
  • It is also used to add the ticker on various websites, which needs to refresh their content automatically.

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