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Habdul Hazeez
Habdul Hazeez

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Introduction to HTML

Okay!, what do we have here? HTML. HT-what? Don't worry, it's just an acronym for Hypertext Markup Language and its is one of the core languages of the Web alongside its two buddies namely CSS and JavaScript.

Web pages can be displayed with just HTML, but that might not be enough today where users are used to seeing "cool" and "shiny" things on the web. That's where CSS or JavaScript (sometimes both, but not all the time) comes into the picture.

As a beginner, you don't need any special tool to start writing HTML, all that's required is a text editor and a web browser, if you are on Microsoft Windows, Notepad will do just fine, but, you won't get some of the functionalities that most modern code editor have in store, the least being syntax highlighting.

We covered how to get one this editor in the tools you will need and visit the web browser section if you still need to download a web browser.

Anyone that has ever written HTML before will tell you HTML is easy, just write this, write that, slap some div's with some h1's and p's and voilà! You've got yourself a web page, in reality this is true, but that's just part of the story.

Writing HTML may be easy but writing good HTML is not and sometimes you can consider it as a brain exercise. You'll have to put so many things into consideration like, which browser support this tag?, even if they do, are they implemented in the same way by browser vendors there by creating consistent behaviors across the ecosystem?

See! I told you, it ain't easy. That's why everything requires planning and one form of research or the other. But, if you really don't care how your website displays in your users browser (in reality you should) you won't need to do any research but at least you're still going to plan how your website will look like, mentally or with pen and paper and if design tools are your thing, go for it.

HTML is made up elements and tags, these elements are considered replaced or non replaced (will get into details in the technical part). We will not be discussing every element that exists in HTML (that's enough to fill a book), but, we will be discussing elements that you will find in most web pages. Examples include:

  • Meta tags
  • Title
  • Headers
  • Paragraphs

Next up, some history lesson (don't worry it's not going to take your time) and after that we'll dive into some "technical?" stuff (Technical? It's just a fancy word for: "we'll start writing some HTML").

Edited September 19, 2020: Grammar fix.

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