How to determine a given web page/site is using HTML5 and not its older versions



You are a programmer/web developer/QA tester, you require to ensure that web page designed/tested is using HTML5. 

How to find HTML version of Web page:

Any browser detects the HTML version of the web pages by reading the very first line of a web page that is a declaration of <!DOCTYPE>.  The <!DOCTYPE> is not an HTML tag. It’s the very first instruction to the browser about what version of HTML the page is written in and/or what version of HTML to be used to render the page correctly.

Example:  In below case the web page is using XHTML 1.0 version.

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "">


HTML 4.0 DOCTYPE declarations:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN""">
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Frameset//EN""">


How to find usage of HTML5 in Web pages:

Starting HTML5, there is only one <!DOCTYPE> declaration as shown below unlike three different types that exist in HTML 4.0 version.  This is because HTML is NOT based on SGML application but HTML 4 is. 

The other verification you can do is to check for use/existence of the ONLY HTML5 elements like <canvas>, <audio>, <video>, etc.,.  For complete list of new HTML5 elements refer to HTML5 New Elements.


<!DOCTYPE html>




How to programmatically detect a web page is HTML5 or not?

To programmatically detect, you need to simply parse the page for <!DOCTYPE> declaration.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *