HTML, known specifically as Hypertext Markup Language, is the coding system that the majority of web pages online utilize. Web browsers such as Internet Explorer and Firefox, translate HTML coding into a visual form (text, images, tables, links, etc.) that allows users to interact with it.
As the internet continues to grow, and more and more people begin to create their own web sites, learning HTML has become a valuable skill. Luckily though, learning HTML isn’t too difficult to accomplish if you have access to the right tools. This article is a guide to help you in the process of learning HTML the easiest, fastest, and most affordable way possible.
1. Getting Started
Before you begin delving into the wonders of HMTL, you’ll need to make sure you have a few things first. Here’s a checklist of what you’ll need before you begin:
A computer. This seems like a no-brainer, but you’ll need one regardless.
A text editor program (Wordpad or Notepad for PC, TextEdit for Mac). Don’t worry, these come free with your computer! You will use this to write out your HTML code.
A web browser (Such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Safari, etc.) These are free as well! You will use this to test your HTML code to make sure it displays correctly.
An HTML resource (An HTML guide book, An HTML tutorial web site, A teacher). In order to learn HTML, you’ll need a resource to learn from. When I started learning HTML, I purchased the book “HTML for the World Wide Web”, by Elizabeth Castro for $21.99. This book contains valuable information on HTML and I highly recommend it. If you are strapped for cash, you can get a friend who’s knowledgeable in HTML to help you write your code, as well as using free online HTML tutorials that walk you through step by step to creating HTML code.
Sites with free tutorials include:
2. Start a tutorial/lesson/chapter
Depending on the resource you are using to learn HTML, you’ll start by going to the first tutorial, lesson, or book chapter. Open up your text editor as well as your web browser and follow the instructions closely. Most tutorials/lessons will explain to you how certain HTML coding works, and then will have you create it and test it in your web browser.
3. Test your HTML in a web browser.
Once you’ve created your HTML from the tutorial/lesson, you are ready to test it in your web browser. To do so, you will first need to save your text document as a file that your browser can open. When you are saving your file, make sure to save it with the “.html” extension on the end, otherwise it will not display properly in the browser.
After you have saved your file, go to your browser and click,
“File” then, “Open File” and search for your HTML document.
Once you have found you newly created HTML file, click open and you should see how your HTML looks inside the browser. If you made your HTML code correctly, it will look similar to the tutorial/lesson. If you made your HTML incorrectly it won’t display right.
To fix it, you will need to change code in your text editor and save the file again.
TIP! You don’t have to reopen your html document in the web browser each time you save your HTML file! After you open your HTML file in the browser, don’t close it! To see your new changes take effect, all you need to do is click the “refresh” button on your browser menu. This will reload the page and display the current version. This will save you tons of time testing!
4. Find & Copy other HTML Code you like
After you’ve tried a few tutorials and are beginning to get the hang of how HTML works, I recommend that you find some web sites you like, and try to emulate their HTML code. This is a great way to help you figure out how other web sites/HTML works.
TIP! You can view the HTML code of ANY web site/page! Cool huh? In order to do this, right click over the web page and go to “view source” or “view source code”. This will display the HTML of the web site, and you can see how the page works. Take bits of the code you like and use it to help test your own HTML coding.
5. Create a web site!
The best way to make sure you have learned and understood the HTML tutorials you’ve been reading, is to create your own web site! You can create an entire web site on your computer. You don’t need to put it online for it to work!
TIP! Try to include what you learned from each tutorial into the web site you create. This will help you learn how to integrate the separate tutorials/lessons and understand how they work together to create a web site.
After reading this, you should be well on your way to creating your own web pages and web sites. I recommend that each and every person have their own web site, so get out there and show the world what you’ve got and above all else, have fun!