What Is the Difference Between HTML and Web Server Controls?


Scott Campbell

What Is the Difference Between HTML and Web Server Controls?

HTML and web server controls are two different ways to create and manage interactive elements on a web page. While both are used to enhance the functionality of a website, they have distinct differences in terms of their implementation, behavior, and purpose.

HTML Controls

HTML controls are the building blocks of web pages. They include basic elements such as text boxes, buttons, checkboxes, radio buttons, drop-down lists, and more.

These controls are defined using HTML tags and are rendered by the browser. HTML controls are static in nature, meaning they do not have any server-side processing capabilities.


Let’s consider an example of an HTML form that collects user information:

HTML Form Example:

<form action=”process.php” method=”POST”>
    <label for=”name”>Name:</label>
    <input type=”text” id=”name” name=”name”>

    <label for=”email”>Email:</label>
    <input type=”email” id=”email” name=”email”>

    <input type=”submit” value=”Submit”>

In this example, we use basic HTML tags such as <form>, <input>, and <label> to create a form. When the user submits the form, the data is sent to the server-side script specified in the action attribute of the <form> tag.

Web Server Controls

Web server controls, on the other hand, are ASP.NET controls that provide enhanced functionality compared to HTML controls. These controls have server-side processing capabilities and can interact with server resources, perform validation, and have event-driven behavior.


Let’s consider an example of a web server control that displays a dynamic message based on user input:

Web Server Control Example:

<asp:TextBox ID=”txtName” runat=”server”></asp:TextBox>

<asp:Button ID=”btnSubmit” runat=”server” Text=”Submit” OnClick=”btnSubmit_Click”></asp:Button>

<asp:Label ID=”lblMessage” runat=”server”></asp:Label>

In this example, we use web server controls such as <asp:TextBox>, <asp:Button>, and <asp:Label>. The runat="server" attribute indicates that these controls are managed by the server.

The code-behind file for this page might include an event handler for the button click event (btnSubmit_Click) that retrieves the value entered in the text box and updates the label dynamically.

Differences Between HTML and Web Server Controls

Now that we have seen examples of both HTML and web server controls, let’s summarize the key differences between them:

  • HTML controls are static and do not have server-side processing capabilities, while web server controls have server-side processing capabilities and can interact with server resources.
  • HTML controls are rendered directly by the browser, whereas web server controls are rendered by the ASP.NET runtime.
  • Web server controls provide more advanced functionality such as data binding, validation, and event-driven behavior.
  • HTML controls are generally easier to implement and require less code compared to web server controls.

It’s important to choose the right type of control based on your application requirements. If you need simple user input or basic functionality, HTML controls may be sufficient. However, if you require more advanced features and interaction with server resources, web server controls are the way to go.

In conclusion, HTML and web server controls serve different purposes in web development. HTML controls are static elements that provide basic functionality, while web server controls offer enhanced features and server-side processing capabilities. Understanding the differences between these two types of controls will help you make informed decisions when building interactive websites.

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