Websites are primarily saved in .htm(l) format, being based on HTML (hypertext mark-up language), CSS, sometimes Javascript.

Are .onion sites on the darknet no different, or are there unique coding language(s) for designing them?

Is there special website design software, like Adobe Dreamweaver, made for designing .onion sites?

  • You can go to an onion service using Tor, then view page source or dev-tools to see if they are using HTML (spoiler alert: they are).
    – Swangie
    Feb 14, 2021 at 17:38
  • Tor has source page view and dev?
    – user610620
    Feb 15, 2021 at 3:10
  • Yes, of course. It's based on Firefox browser. You can click on the three lines in the top right corner, click on web developer, and then click inspector.
    – Swangie
    Feb 15, 2021 at 15:00

2 Answers 2


Building onion websites is generally no different than building regular websites. The main difference is the underlying connection protocol and not the website itself. You build onion websites using the same tools such as a web server (Apache, Nginx, etc), the documents (HTML, css, etc), and server-side languages (PHP, NodeJS, etc). There is no special coding languages or design software. If you know how to build a regular website, then you will find it easy to build an onion website.

Setting up an onion service is usually as simple as changing one or two lines of your tor configuration file (the torrc file) to point to your web server. If you need special features such as load balancing things get a little trickier, but a simple onion service is usually very easy to set up once you've built the website.

  • are there webmasters that publicly advertise .onion or darknet website designing services? or is it always (especially for privacy reasons in the case of illegal merchants) a DIY hobby
    – user610620
    Feb 14, 2021 at 16:16
  • I don't think most website designers advertise it since it's no different than building a regular website. There might be some who do advertise it, but I would personally distrust anyone offering to build a "darknet" website. Onion services are more than a DIY hobby (for example see this huge list of onion services: github.com/alecmuffett/real-world-onion-sites), so there are a lot of professionals who are experienced building/running onion services.
    – Steve
    Feb 14, 2021 at 18:43
  • what changes must be made to the torrc file exactly
    – user610620
    Feb 16, 2021 at 20:48

Short: What you want

You serve HTML on your .onion address, but also host .mp4 files or any binaries. JS and CSS, of course, too.

The webserver doing that, can be the same for the "normal internet". Tor only transmit that to the "darknet".

  • .html and .onion is about presentation. hosting .mp4 files is a server issue, so are you suggesting the presentation or storage of .mp4's is different for .onion sites than clearnet somehow? How, and what are binaries
    – user610620
    Feb 14, 2021 at 16:14
  • The Server can host every file format, if clearnet of darknet. Only the browser have to support the file format to present that. Tor Browser is based on Firefox. Means that both mainline present HTML.
    – fossdd
    Feb 15, 2021 at 17:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.