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HTML is a computer language devised to create websites . These websites can then be viewed by everyone connected to the Internet. It is relatively easy to learn, with the basics being accessible in internet. It is constantly undergoing revision and evolution to meet the demands and requirements of the growing Internet audience under the direction of the » W3C, the organisation charged with designing and maintaining the language.

The definition of HTML is HyperText Markup Language.

  • HyperText is the method by which you move around on the web — by clicking on special text called hyperlinks which bring you to the next page. The fact that it ishyper just means it is not linear — i.e. you can go to any place on the Internet whenever you want by clicking on links — there is no set order to do things in.
  • Markup is what HTML tags do to the text inside them. They mark it as a certain type of text (italicised text, for example).
  • HTML is a Language, as it has code-words and syntax like any other language.

How does it work?

HTML consists of a series of short codes typed into a text-file by the site author — these are the tags. The text is then saved as a html file, and viewed through a browser, like Google chrome or Internet explorer. This browser reads the file and translates the text into a visible form. Writing your own HTML entails using tags correctly to create your vision. You can use anything from a simple text-editor to a powerful graphical editor to create HTML pages.

What are the tags?

The tags are what separate normal text from HTML code. You might know them as the words between the <angle-brackets>.They have beginning(<) and ending(>) . Left angle bracket (<)name of the tag(>)right angle bracket- that is for the intial tag.The ending tag is slightly different- left angle bracket+slash(</)name of the tag(>)right angle bracket.The following example will help you to understand  the concept.

<h1>I love HTML</h1> “I love HTML” is the title of your website and the font of it will be H1 – Heading 1.

<h1>I love HTML</h1>

The result in your browser will be:

I love HTML

If you want to see a list of a load of tags to see what is ahead of you, look at this tag reference. Learning the tags themselves is dealt with in the next section of this website, My First Site.

Is this going to take long?

Well, it depends on what you want from it. Knowing HTML will take only a few days of reading and learning the codes for what you want. You can have the basics down in an hour. Once you know the tags you can create HTML pages.

That is after 30 minutes reading “Head First HTML chapter 1”and playing in w3schools. (click on the image to enlarge it)

However, using HTML and designing good websites is a different story,as a start take a look at w3schools. Good website design is half skill and half talent, I reckon.  Learning techniques and correct use of your tags knowledge will improve your work immensely, and a good understanding of general design and the audience you’re trying to reach will improve your website’s chances of success. Luckily, these things can be researched and understood, as long as you’re willing to work at it so you can output better websites.

The range of skills you will learn as a result of running your own website is impressive. You’ll learn about aspects of graphic design and computer programming. Your efficiency with computers in general increases. You’ll also learn about promotion and your writing will probably improve too, as you adapt to write for certain audiences.

Is there anything that HTML cannot do?

Of course, but since making websites became more popular and needs increased many other supporting languages have been created to allow new stuff to happen, plus HTML is modified every few yearsto make way for improvements.For example CSS-Cascading Style Sheets language is often combine with HTML.

Cascading Style SheetsCSS are used to control how your pages are presented, and make pages more accessible and colorful  Basic special effects and interaction is provided by CSS, which adds a lot of power to basic HTML. Most of this advanced stuff is for later down the road, but when using all of these technologies together, you have a lot of power at your disposal.

Why not get a quick view of times gone by with The History of HTML and read some of  “Head First” books?  If you think you’re ready to start coding, head over to the My First Site or W3schools section and begin creating!