HTML Mistakes Even Experienced Developers Make

August 19, 2023

In the rapidly evolving world of web development, even seasoned developers can sometimes trip over seemingly simple aspects of foundational languages. HTML, the cornerstone of web content, might appear straightforward, but it's nuanced in ways that can sometimes elude even the experts. Here are some common HTML mistakes that even experienced developers make:

1. Neglecting Semantic Elements

Semantic elements like <header>, <footer>, <nav>, and <article> aren’t just for show. They provide essential structure and meaning to web content, making it more accessible and SEO-friendly. Using non-semantic <div> and <span> tags for everything undermines the web's potential for interoperability and user accessibility.

2. Over-relying on <br> for Spacing

The <br> tag is meant for line breaks within text content (like poetry or an address), not for creating vertical space between elements. For layout spacing, CSS is the appropriate tool.

3. Ignoring Accessibility

HTML has built-in features to make websites accessible to users with disabilities. This includes using the alt attribute for images, providing captions for videos, and ensuring that forms have associated <label> elements. Neglecting these features can alienate a significant portion of users.

4. Misusing Inline Styles

While inline styles (style attribute) can be useful for quick tweaks, they can make the code harder to maintain and override. It's generally best to use external or internal CSS for styling.

5. Not Closing Tags

While modern browsers can often render HTML correctly even when some tags aren't closed, unclosed tags can lead to unpredictable results, especially across different browsers.

6. Not Specifying DOCTYPE

Omitting the DOCTYPE can make the browser use "quirks mode", which may lead to inconsistent rendering. Always start with a <!DOCTYPE html> declaration to ensure the browser uses "standards mode".

7. Using Deprecated Elements

Elements like <center>, <font>, and <frame> are relics of the past and should be avoided in modern web design. These are better handled by CSS and other contemporary techniques.

8. Not Validating HTML

Validation tools can catch mistakes that are easy to overlook. Even if the page looks fine, underlying HTML errors can cause problems down the road, especially with cross-browser compatibility.

9. Inconsistent Quotation Marks

While both single (') and double (") quotes are valid in HTML attributes, it's essential to be consistent. Mixing them can lead to confusion and potential errors.

10. Hardcoding Values

Whether it's dimensions, colors, or URLs, hardcoding can make future updates cumbersome. Where possible, leverage CSS variables, relative URLs, and other techniques that make maintenance smoother.


HTML, despite its apparent simplicity, is laden with nuances. By being aware of these common pitfalls, developers can create more robust, accessible, and maintainable web content. It's a reminder that no matter how experienced one is, there's always room for improvement and continuous learning in the world of web development.

Get In Touch

© 2023