A Beginner’s Guide to HTML
Every website in the world contains HTML. “HTML” stands for “HyperText Markup Language,” which forms the building blocks of a Web page by telling the browser what to display and how to display it. By understanding HTML, you can understand how a website is structured and see how it works. If you’re interested in software development, learning HTML is a great way to start to become familiar with programming and website design.
Learning HTML is the first step in coding a website. While there are many editors out there today that will allow you to create a site without ever seeing the code, their purpose is simply to create HTML based on your design. Learning to code it yourself skips the middleman and allows you to make websites easily without any special software. You can learn to edit HTML with something as simple as Notepad, although many free editors, both online and downloadable, can be useful, too.
Understanding HTML is useful even if you’re not thinking of a career in Web development or programming. If you choose to start your own business, you may want to be able to create a website for it where people can read about you and buy your products. If you have a hobby, you can create a blog for it to share what you know and connect with others. With how Web-focused the world is today, knowing this language can create opportunities both in your personal and professional life to access, understand, and modify websites.
For example, you may be a non-technical person with an interest in art and drawing. To display your work, you could create a physical portfolio that you have to keep track of, making copies of your work and mailing or carrying them directly to everyone you wish to see it. Or you could create a portfolio website, either using a template or from scratch, and then direct all people you would like to see it to the site. This also means that your work can appear in Google search results, get traffic that you didn’t directly solicit, and be visible in other places without making endless copies. Not only is knowing HTML to create a website much faster and easier than dealing with a physical portfolio, but it can improve your visibility as an artist and attract business that you might not have found yourself!
HTML is different from other languages in that it creates structure for a site, not logic. While other programming languages assess logical statements and carry out commands based on those statements, HTML instead is like a scaffolding that a webpage is built on. By looking at the HTML, you can tell what the page should look like on a basic level. This is often combined with a language that does have an emphasis on logic, creating a dynamic page that can react to the user.
CSS is a language that creates much of the design you see on websites. While it is not the same as HTML, these two languages are often used in conjunction with each other, and learning both at once is an excellent way to get a head start on website development. The purpose of CSS is to add a “style” to a piece of HTML, like a background color or font choice, and be able to apply it to multiple pages at once. Editing HTML often includes editing CSS to change elements of a page or website’s design.
Being armed with knowledge is the first step to being on the forefront of innovation. By learning HTML, you can begin to take control of your own Web presence, get a foothold in programming, and work toward being able to create your own software. Not only will you be able to understand what other websites are doing and why they’re structured the way they are, but you’ll be able to create your own pages and share them with the world, whether it’s for your business or just for fun. With how much of the world is on the Internet today, learning how it’s structured can be both essential and fun.
Learning HTML Resources
- Nine Reasons Every Professional Should Know a Little HTML and CSS
- Notepad++: Free HTML Editor
- HTML Tutorial for Beginners
- HTML and CSS
- Learn HTML and CSS
- HTML Tips
- Get Started With CSS in Five Minutes
- CSS Quick Tutorial
- HTML Tutorial
- HTML Head Tag
- HTML Body Tag
- Links and Images in HTML
- HTML Tag Reference
- Commonly Used Tags in HTML
- Working With Tables in HTML
- Linking CSS to HTML
- HTML Attributes
- HTML Tags for Text Formatting
- Divs, Spans, IDs, and Classes
- HTML Editors and How to Use Them
- HTML and CSS: The Very Basics
- How to Design and Build an HTML Newsletter