DHTML vs XHTML: Difference and Comparison

HTML (hyperText Markup Language) is the foremost understanding of designing a structure of a webpage on the internet.

In similar ways, DHTML and XHTML are also hypertext markup languages, where the former creates dynamic web pages, while the latter either mirrors or extends the version of the HTML web pages. 

Key Takeaways

  1. DHTML is a combination of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript used to create dynamic, interactive web content, while XHTML is a stricter, more standardized version of HTML that follows XML syntax rules.
  2. XHTML improves the structure and compatibility of web content across various devices and browsers, while DHTML enhances the user experience through interactivity.
  3. DHTML focuses on the behavior of web elements, while XHTML emphasizes proper syntax and document structure.


DHTML is a combination of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript that allows web pages to be dynamic and interactive. It can be used create web pages that respond to users in real-time. XHTML, is used for creating web pages that are structured and well-formed, and accessible to a wider range of devices.


DHTML is also known as Dynamic HyperText Markup Language, can make a web page look contentful, interactive, animative, without the browser erasing or deleting everything.

It uses the help of JavaScript, CSS, DOM, and HTML, in order to design a dynamic web page on the browser. Additionally, Netscape and Microsoft are both compatible. 

In the case of XHTML is also known as eXtensive HyperText Markup Language. It is the up-and-coming evolution of the internet.

It makes use of XML language(an important tool that describes the data of content on the internet) to mirror and extend the versions of HTML documents into easily accessible web pages. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonDHTMLXHTML
Full-FormDynamic HyperText Markup LanguageExtensive HyperText Markup Language. 
FunctionIt transforms web pages from static to dynamic. This makes the page more versatile with other types of functions. 
DevelopedThe DHTML application was introduced by Microsoft in 1997.World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in 2000.
Filename Extension.dhtml extension.xhtml, .xht, .xml, .html, .htm
FeaturesDynamic style (animation, games), Dynamic Content (Application), and real-time positioning. A case-sensitive language that constructs smoothly with database and workflow applications. 
VersionsIt is a standard technology developed to create dynamic web pages. XHTML 1.0, XHTML 1.1, XHTML Basic, XHTML Mobile Profile, XHTML 1.2, XHTML 2.0, XHTML5

What is DHTML?

DHTML is an acronym for the word Dynamic HyperText Markup Language. The purpose of developing DHTML is to create dynamic web pages in place of static ones. It is a combination of HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and DOM programming. 

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The archetype of DHTML was developed by Microsoft in 1997, alongside the development of Internet Explorer4. With those additional scripting languages, DHTML enables changing of variables in the setting in order to display a dynamic web page.

And for this reason, HTML acts as the builder of the web page, followed by JS (Client-Side scripting language), where using cookies, determines the user’s need.

In addition to it, CSS redesigns and style the page more dynamic with a little amount of coding work.

And lastly, DOM (Document Object Method), manipulates the whole static content into a dynamic one. 

Speaking of DHTML features, one can change the tags and properties, used for real-time positioning, generation of dynamic fonts, used for data binding, creating interactive and animated web pages, enabling the use of methods, events, properties, and codes. 

What is XHTML?

XHTML is the abbreviated form of eXtensive HyperText Markup Language. It helps the users to transform an HTML web page into an XML page. It is developed by World Wide Consortium (W3C), enabling the use of XML language. 

The aboriginal of XHTML, namely, XHTML 1.1, was back in January 2000 developed as a prototype of the XHTML family. 

Furthermore, an XHTML document would consist of three main parts, such that DocType (indicating the type of the document, basically of three types, Transitional DTD, Strict DTD, and Frameset DTD), head (declares the title and other attributes), and body (the content of the webpage, with tags included). 

Over and above, XHTML documents are put together by XML tools. So accordingly, it makes it easy for the users to maintain, convert, and edit XHTML documents since they are standardized web pages.

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In a nutshell, they are more accurate and compatible with many browsers.  Or to put it in simple words, this technology is what is going to rule the digital world.

Speaking of its features, an XHTML document has to have a few prerequisites, such as closing tags that are nested within, subsequently, to use less bandwidth, should be developed on the base of XML language, and thereby render well-formed web pages. 

Main Differences Between DHTML and XHTML

  1. DHTML is the combination of HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and DOM. Whereas, XHTML is a dialect associated with the XML language coding system. 
  2. DHTML requires a lot of coding work, while XHTML doesn’t allow lenient coding practices once the web page is created. 
  3. DHTML makes the contents of HTML change from time to time, while XHTML allows the users to build their own tag. 
  4. DHTML is a Microsoft-derived function, while XHTML is a structured form of HTML.
  5. All the elements in the DHTML use the document.writ() method, on the contrary, XHTML’s elements should be properly nested within each other. 
  6. DHTML works on the base of DOM (Document Object Model), whereas, in the case of XHTML, it apposites with the XML structure. 
Difference Between DHTML and XHTML
  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Y_MdAmjLPVYC&oi=fnd&pg=PR13&dq=dhtml+&ots=_OZSRAc_2f&sig=YRXriI7nxARZfdAko2UZ_xSlyc4
  2. https://www.narcis.nl/publication/RecordID/oai:cwi.nl:12633

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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