HTML is the language that creates a framework of a Web page, telling a browser how to display everything from text to images and even other scripts. While you can use a WYSIWYG editor to write your HTML code for you, anyone interested in Web programming should start with a good understanding of how to write HTML from scratch.
Fortunately, HTML is relatively easy to learn, even on your own. All you really need is to know how to create and save an HTML document and to memorize tags and attributes and what they do. You can easily find tables of tags and attributes with a simple Internet search. You’ll also need a text editor such as Notepad or TextEdit and an Internet browser.
HTML code is made up of elements. The elements instruct the browser how to display the content contained within them. Here’s an example of a simple element:
<title>My First Web Page</title>
This element tells the browser to display the title My First Web Page in the bar at the top of the window. In this element, <title> and </title> are tags. With few exceptions, every HTML element will have an opening and closing tag.
Internet browsers read each element in the order it appears on the page and display the content as directed by the tags. Not every set of tags will fit so neatly into a single line as the example above. For instance, the first tag of an HTML document will be <html>. The closing tag for this element, </html>, will appear at the very bottom of all the code, telling the browser that everything contained within those tags is an HTML document.
Tags can include attributes that include further instruction how to display elements. Each attribute appears inside the opening tag and consists of a name and value.
Here’s an example: <body bgcolor=”blue”>
This attribute tells the browser to put a blue background behind the body. Bgcolor is the name and blue is the value.