Difference Between Scripting, Markup and Programming Languages

In the coding arena, there are different types of languages that one can use. Each language is designed to serve a specific purpose. You only need to figure out what you want to do then you can go ahead and choose a language that will fit the job. The three types of languages that you are likely to encounter are programming, markup, and scripting languages.

There are several instances when you may need to use more than one programming language. This can be when you are building a powerful mobile app or a complex interactive website. Even when used together, each type of language will perform a specific role in making the final product work perfectly. In this article, we are going to find out the differences between programming, markup and scripting languages.

Also, Read: 10 Best Courses For Learning Popular Programming Languages

1. Programming Languages

A programming language is simply a set of rules that tells a computer system what to do and how to do it. It gives the computer instructions for performing a particular task. A programming language consists of a series of well-defined steps which the computer must strictly follow in order to produce the desired output. Failure to follow the steps as it has been defined will result in an error and sometimes the computer system won’t perform as intended.

These instructions are usually written by programmers who have an in-depth knowledge about a particular programming language. They are not only knowledgeable about the syntax of that language but also they have mastered the data structures and algorithms used for that language. This is because the basic function of a programming language is to translate the input data into meaningful output.

Examples of programming languages include C, C++, Java, and Python.

2. Markup Languages

From the name, we can easily tell that a markup language is all about visuals and looks. Basically, this is the primary role of markup languages. They are used for the presentation of data. They determine the final outlook or appearance of the data that needs to be displayed on the software. Two of the most powerful markup languages are HTML and XML. If you have used both of these two languages, you should be aware of the impact that they can have on a website in terms of the aesthetics.

A properly utilized HTML with the help of CSS will result in a beautiful or stunning website. Markup languages are characterized by tags which are used for defining elements in the document. They are human-readable because they contain normal texts.

There are different types of markup languages and each one of them is designed to perform a specific role. For instance, the primary role of HTML is to give a structure to the website and its component. On the other hand, XML was designed to store and transport structured data. If you are planning to be a front-end developer, consider sharpening your knowledge on markup languages.

3. Scripting Languages

A scripting language is a type of language that is designed to integrate and communicate with other programming languages. Examples of commonly used scripting languages include JavaScript, VBScript, PHP among others. There are mostly used in conjunction with other languages, either programming or markup languages. For example, PHP which is a scripting language is mostly used in conjunction with HTML. It is safe to say that all scripting languages are programming languages, but not all programming languages are scripting languages.

One of the differences between scripting languages and programming languages is in terms of compilation. While it is a must for a programming to be compiled, scripting languages are interpreted without being compiled. It is important to note that scripting languages are interpreted directly from the source code.

Due to the absence of the compilation process, scripting languages are a bit faster than the programming languages. In recent years, we have seen a widespread use of scripting languages in developing the client side of web applications.


If you were unable to distinguish between these three types of languages, you now have the answers. These are the main differences between Programming, Markup and Scripting languages. We hope that these differences will help you to know what language to use and when to use it.