Introduction to HTML

introduction to html

Introduction to HTML. Photo by Markus Tacker. Licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Introduction to HTML

Internet is a form of computer network which connects the whole world. An internet user is called a client when connected; and a website provides its services to clients. The website, as a service provider, requires to be connected 24 x 7 so that it’s available every moment. Still a client cannot make use of it until he finds a medium. This medium takes inputs or queries from client and asks the website to display that particular page which fulfills client’s requirements. Your web browser is that medium which acts as a communicator between you and a website.

Web browser is a computer program which makes it possible to view a website and helps to access its web pages. The purpose of internet is to send and receive information, if we speak technically. A webpage is also a source of information as you can see it right now. From a web designer’s perspective, a webpage is a text document which could be a simple or complex HTML document.

1- HTML is not a programming language

Introduction to HTML – HTML is a markup language. It can’t be used to write a program; instead it’s written to form a webpage. It decides the appearance of a webpage and sets display styles for text, images and other media contents.

HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. It uses markup method to edit a plain text document; this is how it styles each element and does layouting for a webpage from top to toe. The method is also called tagging. Refer to point 7.

A web browser processes HTML document (its tags and tagged contents) to display it in the form of a webpage with styles and all, which you love and share.

Hypertext stands for plain text with links which take you forward or backward or you can jump to a new topic.

2- No designing software needed

It does not require any designing software or publishing tool to create a webpage. If you are good at keyboard typing, you can start writing codes using NotePad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac). All you need to do is formatting your document in plain text and save your file with the “.html” extension. However, publishing softwares help a lot and speed up the process.

3- No technical skill required

An HTML page consists of two things – plain text and HTML tags

If you can write about yourself on paper, you can also write code for a web page. You must learn HTML tags and their usage but they are self-explanatory, easy to understand and easy to use. Start using them and you will start learning right away without much effort.

4- No writing skill required

HTML requires writing skills not at all. Just copy and paste any story or paragraph in your text file and start marking up the content using HTML tags. While coding and using HTML tags correctly, you should also follow web standards released by W3C. Don’t be afraid, as I mentioned – the tags are self-explanatory. Refer to point 7.

5- Who invented the HTML?

Tim Berners-Lee

Sir Timothy John “Tim” Berners-Lee

In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee was working at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics in Geneva, Switzerland where he found a way to cross-reference research documents by linking them and organizing the information together. On 25 December 1990, assisted by Robert Cailliau and a young student, Tim Berners-Lee implemented the first successful communication between a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) client and server via the Internet.

Berners-Lee is known as the inventor of the World Wide Web. He is currently the Director of W3C, the group that sets technical standards for web. He is also the founder of the World Wide Web Foundation.

Tim Berners-Lee @Wikipedia »

6- What is W3C?

W3CThe World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community that develops open standards to ensure the long-term growth of the Web. The W3C works in the interest of World Wide Web to its full potential by developing protocols and guidelines.

One of W3C’s primary goals is to make these benefits available to all people, whatever their hardware, software, network infrastructure, native language, culture, geographical location, physical or mental ability. W3C believes in participation, sharing knowledge, and thereby building trust on a global scale.

Thanks to W3C! W3C website »

7- How does HTML work?

An HTML page consists of two things – plain text and HTML tags. HTML coding puts them together and generates a document full of HTML elements. A web browser interprets the elements to display the content in a well structured form.

Below is an example of HTML script.

<html>
<head>
   <title>Example</title>
</head>

   <body>

      <h1>Quick overview</h1>

      <p>Web browser is a computer program which makes it possible
      to view a website and helps to access its web pages.</p>

      <p>A webpage is a text document which could be a simple or
      complex <strong>HTML document.</strong></p>

   </body>
</html>

You can copy this code to text editor file and save it with .html extension.

notepad save as html

Now open the HTML file with a web browser application.

This is how a web browser interprets HTML –

browser interprets html

HTML tags make changes to the appearance of content within.

8- What is an HTML tag?

An HTML document is technically the result of content mark-up by HTML tags. There is generally a start tag and corresponding end tag to enclose a document item, a paragraph for example. Start tag – end tag are also called opening tag – closing tag. A start tag is tag name written within angle brackets, example- <section>. A closing tag uses forward slash (/) just before its name– </section>. Both tags bind an item together to represent an HTML element. A paragraph element looks like –

<p>paragraph text</p>

Paired tags and content within, make up an element together. Interestingly, there are also few unpaired or single tags in HTML. Such stand-alone tags form empty elements (but do not leave elements blank), for example <img /> – which is used to insert an image within a webpage. See examples to learn more –

HTML elements goes here –
<html>webpage source script</html>
JavaScript, CSS, meta information, etc –
<head>header information</head>
A suitable document title –
<title>webpage title</title>
Everything that you want to showcase –
<body>webpage content</body>
This holds an image within a webpage –
<img src=“photo.JPG” />
Heading level 1 –
<h1>This is heading</h1>
Each paragraph goes like this –
<p>full paragraph text</p>
For bold letters –
<strong>I am bold</strong>

9- What is an HTML validator?

No doubt that HTML is an easy to adopt language but it needs extensive work for complex pages and this is why HTML validators are significant tools. There are times when page does not show up properly or HTML tags become visible on the web page. These are syntax errors and bring down your website reputation.

HTML validators are computer programs which scan your HTML documents online or offline, track bugs and errors, prepare reports and fixes all the problems in a single command.

10- What is “hypertext”?

Hypertext is text which is not constrained to be linear. The concept of hypertext was first used in a Spanish short story The Garden of Forking Paths by writer Jorge Luis Borges.

Hypertext stands for plain text with links which take you forward or backward or you can jump to a new topic. The term was coined by Ted Nelson around 1965.

External Links » Read more on this topic

Introduction to HTML: FAQ
HTML educational material

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