HTML Server Controls
HTML elements in ASP.NET files are, by default, treated as text. To make these elements programmable, add a runat="server" attribute to the HTML element. This attribute indicates that the element should be treated as a server control.
Note: All HTML server controls must be within a <form> tag with the runat="server" attribute!
Note: ASP.NET requires that all HTML elements must be properly closed and properly nested.
Web Server Controls
Like HTML server controls, Web server controls are also created on the server and they require a runat="server" attribute to work. However, Web server controls do not necessarily map to any existing HTML elements and they may represent more complex elements.
The syntax for creating a Web server control is:
<asp:control_name id="some_id" runat="server" />