The design and development of websites in the world started with the HTML markup language. HTML is not a programming language. It is a language for making the overall structure of the pages of a website and marking the placement of each element on the page. None of today’s websites can be developed with HTML alone. Because to design and code dynamic websites (that is, websites like Amazon), programming languages are needed in addition to markup language.
But the point is that it is not possible to build any kind of website without this language. This language is the basis of web design work. That is why every web designer and site designer should know HTML markup language very well and master it.
There is a question that arises for all programmers who just started learning HTML and designing a website: what is the difference between the div tag and the span tag in HTML and which one should be chosen for each part of the site and why? This is the universal problem of all those who want to code the general structure of a normal and very simple website page or a very complex web page with this language.
In this guide, we answer this question and solve this problem.
Table of Contents
Div vs. Span
Before dealing with the differences between these two very important tags in HTML, each one must be defined.
Each page of the website should contain content and visual elements, including short help texts, UI elements, and photos. The web designer divides the page into separate spaces and sections. These separate sections are filled with content and elements that are usually defined by the product design team (ie, the user interface and user experience designers of the website).
The programmer does this page division using HTML Elements. Each element in this language has its tag. For example, the paragraph element is written with the opening and closing <p> </p> tags. Between two tags, the content of the paragraph or text is placed.
div and span are two elements in HTML that are written with opening and closing tags <div>…</div> and <span>… </span>. These two elements are usually used when the site designer and programmer want to put a set of several contents (such as text and photos) in one part so that he can easily select it and attribute a certain style or characteristic to the whole set.
So, these two elements have the same function. But the matter is not that simple. The collection placed in the div element is different from the collection placed in the span.
Demon element and its uses
div stands for division. If the site designer and developer put a text, photo, content (for example, a few lines), or a set of them in a div (container), he can easily, using CSS codes, give a distinctive feature or style to that element or set. to give
For example, the first two lines on a page should be written with a gray background color and the next three lines with a purple background color. The developer puts the first two lines in a div and gives that div a gray background color, and puts the next lines in another div with a purple background color.
The size of the div element is the full width of the site page. The point is that this size is the default and is known in HTML for this element. Because div is considered a block element, it occupies a certain size of the screen width and is always one line away from other elements from the top and bottom.
There is a space between two demons. The block element is always placed from the header (after the previous element) and starts. Of course, if the programmer wants and the design of the product (website) needs it, he can change the default width with CSS and make the div smaller or bigger from the left or right.
Span element and its applications
When the programmer and web developer want to put one or more pieces of content together on the page in such a way that they follow each other (there is no space between them) or they do not occupy more space than their dimensions, they use the span element. Span is the opposite of Div. There is no default width and spacing.
In the HTML markup language, there is an inline element opposite the block element. HTML elements are either inline or block. (You can find the list of HTML elements and their types in w3schools.) A very important point that programmers should pay attention to is that block elements cannot be placed inside inline elements.
This linearity of this element gives it a very important use. If the programmer wants to distinguish only one word from a sentence (that is, part of the content) and give it another style, he uses span.
Now that we are familiar with the use and difference of these two elements/tags, the question must be answered, which one should the web designer choose for each part of the site? Which one is better, Div and Span?
Element of Div or element of spin?
No element or tag is good or bad. It is not possible to talk about whether elements and tags are better or worse. Each of them has its functions and applications and may be the best option for designing and coding part of a page. HTML language has its own rules and standards. The programmer must master those rules to be able to use the best element for each part.
Dividing the pages of a site and arranging the elements next to each other is a difficult and time-consuming task. The more pages the website has with different contents and details (such as Amazon’s website), the more sensitive the segmentation discussion becomes. Because it also affects the user experience of the site. So, it is not only the responsibility of the programmer and developer to decide on the way of segmenting each page. In projects where there is a product design team, that team designs the pages and gives them to the development team to just implement.
Of course, it’s not always the case that web designers and developers work with large projects that have a UI/UX design team. For this reason, the best way, especially in small projects, is for the designer to know the elements and their types and as much as possible
Use semantic elements (tags) in HTML and not elements such as div and span, which are considered generic elements in HTML.
Meaningful tags in HTML vs generic tags
Semantic or meaningful elements in HTML are elements whose tag indicates what kind of content can be placed in them. For example, the paragraph tag (<p>) or the photo tag (<img>), or the footer tag (<footer>) are clear from their names, what should be coded (which part of the page) with them. But general elements such as Div and Span do not have specific names. Because any content can be placed inside them. Maybe a developer wants to put the site’s footer inside a daemon or put an image inside it.