The Basics of HTML

HTML is the coding language of websites- the building blocks people use to turn blank canvases on the web into the big colorful websites you like to browse! Website design and HTML especially can seem extremely complex, but it’s pretty simple once you break it down into it’s component parts.

To start, you’ll want to open up a text editing document- I personally use Sublime Text, but anything along those lines will be fine. There’s a specific setup you’ll want to have for every website, pictured below.

Those tags at the start and the end of each line of text are what tell the website what something should look like; the <h1> means that everything in between is the first header. You can look up a list of all the important tags (and all the unimportant ones) pretty easily and how to use them, which you should experiment with for your first few attempts.

The most important tags are the doctype, the html, and the body. Those first two tell the website that this is a website in the first place, and everything in between the body is what will show up on the actual website. There’s a <head> tag that’s used when you want to do things that won’t show up on the website proper, like formatting.

CSS Files

CSS is the other big part of HTML. Formatting can be really time consuming, especially when you do it right on the actual HTML of a specific page. You’d have to copy and paste it onto every individual page of a website if you want it to have any sort of consistent formatting or aesthetic. This is where CSS comes in!

A CSS file is a separate file from any HTML files you make filled with nothing but HTML style formatting. CSS makes making multiple page websites much easier because you only need to write down that formatting one time. You use the CSS to set certain formatting to certain tags like <h1>, and then you link it to each HTML file.

Once it’s linked, every tag that had formatting will display that formatting- meaning that you can style an entire website using only one CSS file when you would otherwise have to style every HTML file one by one every time.

Those are the basic concepts required to get started working with HTML. Everything else is just learning how tags interact, which can be figured out with experience and some internet research.

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