Nearly every fathomable industry today is connected to the Internet. Knowing how to code has gone from being a specialization for pros to a useful skill that just about anyone can use in their work and can also give them a competitive edge as more jobs become digitalized. Deciding to learn basic HTML can help you adapt your business to the digital world and give you the confidence and pride you need to succeed when trying to grow your online presence. With even simple HTML knowledge, you can fix blog posts that don’t display properly, add links, images and videos to texts, alter your email or blog templates to better suit your professional or personal needs and much more.
What is HTML?
HTML stands for “hypertext markup language” and is used to create, structure and present information across web pages. It was created in 1989 by physicist Tim Berners-Lee in Geneva, Switzerland. At the time, Berners-Lee wanted a way for physicists dispersed among various institutions to have the ability to access research remotely and pool together their information. The purpose behind the first HTML prototype was to enable researchers to cross-reference their papers by reading one and then being able to view information presented in another paper.
Web browser on the NeXT computer came out in 1990. The first web browser on the NeXT computer debuted in 1990. Today, HTML is used everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and every other website you see is made up of a variety of programming languages, with HTML being the mother of them all.
Getting Started With HTML Basics
HTML has undergone several iterations since its creation, and today the most recent version is HTML5, released in October 2014. Although you may feel overwhelmed at the prospect of learning to code, rest assured that HTML is one of the easiest coding languages to learn. After only an hour of study, you’ll be able to recognize the basics and assemble your own websites. They may lack style and advanced structure, but they will be functional HTML pages that you can present and later use as a springboard for when your coding skills advance, should you decide to move forward.
You may be wondering where to begin learning HTML. There are plenty of free sites out there that offer extensive courses such as Free Code Camp and Codeacademy. They’re for complete beginners and walk you through the process of learning to code slowly in a fun and engaging environment.
When you start to code in HTML on your computer, all you need is a simple program like Notepad on Windows. If you want something that will make the process even easier, you can download the coding software Notepad ++ for free. That’s all you need to get started!
HTML Basic Tags
HTML is made up of commands for the web browser to understand, and these commands are written in brackets called tags. You place tags within brackets like these: < >. Almost every tag in HTML will need an opening and closing bracket. An opening bracket looks like this (sans spaces): < h2 >. A closing bracket for the h2 tag looks like this: < /h2 >.
The content you want to be affected by that tag would be placed between the brackets. You can also place tags inside of tags in HTML, a process known as nesting.
Let’s take a look at some of the most basic HTML tags you’ll need to get coding. These can be implemented in documents you’re typing in an online editor or implemented from scratch when you’re organizing a web page.
The first tag to understand is the one you’ll use whenever you start an HTML document. It is a self-closing tag, meaning you do not need to inside a forward-slash to close it. This tag is the declaration tag: <!DOCTYPE html>. This tag will tell the web browser that you’re writing an HTML document so it knows how to display its contents. The doctype tag is not case sensitive, so you can type it however you please, though all capitals provide the most clarity. All coding should be made as clear, concise and functional as possible.
In any document, < html >, < /html>, < body >, < /body >(sans spaces) will be placed at the beginning and end of the document. All of your coding will go in between the opening and closing html and body tags.
< head >, < /head >(sans spaces) is information about the document for the web browser to read. This is where, if you wanted to title your page, you would place < title>, < /title > tags in between.
The following are the basic HTML tags you can use to structure text and present it in a manner that is well-organized and easy to read. Remember that for the sake of this tutorial, all tags are written with spaces so you can understand their layout. However, you will not use spaces when coding your own documents.
HTML Text Modifiers
HTML headers allow you to break up your text and declare which parts are the most significant based off the size of the text header preceding the paragraph. They range from h1 to h6 and are all placed within opening and closing tags.
The < p>, < /p > tag indicates the start of a new paragraph.
< b >, < b > will make text appear bold.
< i >, < /i > will make text appear italicized.
< u >, < /u > will make the text between it appear underlined.
< ul >, < /ul >with < li>, < / li >placed around every object within it will display a bullet-point list. If you wish to use numbers instead, you simply change ul to ol.
Why You Should Learn Basic HTML
Basic HTML lays the foundation for any web owner to truly understand their business’ digital side. It can help them know whether or not a designer or developer making their site is doing a good job and find ways to modify and improve things on their own without spending money. HTML is the stepping stone toward unlocking your ultimate digital potential.