What is XHTML?

XHTML is a stricter, more XML-based version of HTML.

  • XHTML stands for EXtensible HyperText Markup Language
  • XHTML is a stricter, more XML-based version of HTML
  • XHTML is HTML defined as an XML application
  • XHTML is supported by all major browsers


XML is a markup language where all documents must be marked up correctly (be “well-formed”).

XHTML was developed to make HTML more extensible and flexible to work with other data formats (such as XML). In addition, browsers ignore errors in HTML pages, and try to display the website even if it has some errors in the markup. So XHTML comes with a much stricter error handling

The Most Important Differences from HTML

  • <!DOCTYPE> is mandatory
  • The xmlns attribute in <html> is mandatory
  • <html>, <head>, <title>, and <body> are mandatory
  • Elements must always be properly nested
  • Elements must always be closed
  • Elements must always be in lowercase
  • Attribute names must always be in lowercase
  • Attribute values must always be quoted
  • Attribute minimization is forbidden

XHTML – <!DOCTYPE ....> Is Mandatory

An XHTML document must have an XHTML <!DOCTYPE> declaration.

The <html>, <head>, <title>, and <body> elements must also be present, and the xmlns attribute in must specify the XML namespace for the document.


Here is an XHTML document with a minimum of required tags:

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
  <title>Title of document</title>

  some content here...


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