If you ever talk to a great programmer, you'll find they know their tools like an artist knows their paintbrushes. - Bill Gates
If you are an aspiring computer programmer or want to learn how to design a web page, then HTML is the first element of computing language that you will be taught. You can use HTML in a variety of computer applications. An HTML document is used to create tags to classify data on a web page. This way, it is essentially the backbone of computer programming language.
What Is HTML?
HTML is short for HyperText Markup Language. All web pages use HTML as the standard markup language. Using a series of elements, an HTML commands the web browser to display the content in a certain structure. So, essentially, HTML acts as the brain behind the matter. When you look at a web page, you see a definite structure, thanks to the tags created by HTML commands.
Have a look at some examples of how an HTML element works.
HTML may appear to be complex, but it is a rather simple computer language that anyone can learn. Learning a new skill may be tricky, but with the right start and support, it can become quite an easy task. But first, you need to familiarize yourself with the basic elements of HTML and its use.
What is An HTML Structure?
Whatever content you see on a web page, the text, graphics, and design elements are all put under tags using different sets of codes. These codes are the instructions on how to display the content on the page, that is, the final product you see on the web page.
For an amateur coder or beginner who wants to create a website from scratch, there are many software and websites that offer support in writing an HTML code.
You can imagine an HTML code as a big tree, where the different tags are nested within it. When you want to format a specific element, you need to put a start tag and an end tag. Ensure that the different tags do not overlap. For example, if you want tag 2 to open after tag 1, then you must close tag 1 first in order for tag 2 to open.
What are HTML Elements?
Each code is made up of individual components called an element. These elements facilitate the opening and closing of tags and also the content that falls between them. An element is made up of an attribute and its value.
If you want to use attributes to create an HTML element, you need to create a tag that starts and finishes with angle brackets. This tag then needs to be placed before the text that requires formatting. Now, to complete your formatting process, just type the first angle bracket, followed by a backslash, repeat the element code, and finally close the bracket.
What is an HTML Code?
The code is usually a combination of multiple letters, numbers, words, and symbols. Codes are used to format content for:
- Page headings.
- Fonts including italics and emphasized, or bold and strong, or underlined.
- Line breaks.
- Unordered lists.
- Superscript and subscript.
- Text alignment.
HTML Color Codes
You must have come across a list of color options while writing HTML codes. HTML color codes are hexadecimal triplets that are used to represent the three main colors of red, green, and blue. In an HTML document, these codes appear in the form of #RRGGBB. For example, if you use the code #FFOOOO for reference, it will produce an element that has 255 red, 0 green, and 0 blue combinations.
Color codes are used to format the color of the document backgrounds, fonts, lists, or tables on a web page. There is an entire list of codes for all possible HTML color code combinations.
XML, XHTML, and CSS
Although HTML is the most commonly used programming language for creating web pages, it is not the only one. Not all web pages are written using the HTML language.
XML or eXtensible Markup Language is similar to HTML in that it is also used as a markup reference language. It is used to store and transport data, and the design is such that it is self-descriptive. There is a common saying among program developers that XML actually does nothing. Its main purpose is to store information that is wrapped in tags. Unlike HTML tags, XML tags are not predefined. It is up to the designer to define the tags as well as the document structure.
The advantage with an XML document is that it will continue to work as expected even if you add or remove data or content from the page. Since it stores data in plain text format, it facilitates storing and transfer of data independent of software and hardware.
Extensible HyperText Markup Language or XHTML is a variant of XML. It is more like an XML application that is supported by all browsers. XHTML came into being in order to support HTML to be more extensible and flexible to work with other data formats.
The advantage of XHTML is that it can catch errors in an HTML document, that is otherwise overlooked by web browsers. Elements in an XHTML document must always be in lowercase and codes must be closed always.
Short for Cascading Style Sheets, CSS is a very useful programming language that supplements an HTML document, by controlling the layout out multiple web pages all at once. CSS can be used to,
- Control the color, font, and size of the text.
- Format spacing between elements.
- Control the positioning of elements.
- Change background images and colors.
- Control different displays for multiple devices and screen sizes.
Three Different Ways of Using CSS and HTML Together
- Inline CSS uses the style attribute in an HTML element.
- Internal CSS can be used to define the style element in the head section of an HTML page.
- External CSS can be used to structure the syle of multiple HTML pages.
HTML Programs for Beginners
HTML and CSS are the first things you will learn in any computer course on programming. They are like the building blocks for a developer and programmer's professional development. If you like having fun with codes and tags, you can try out these programs in HTML to expedite your learning process and increase your level of expertise.
Design a Web Page Using Forms
You will work with a lot of forms in most of the HTML applications. Once you have a fair understanding of the basic tags and elements, you can use those skills to develop a web page. You can try formatting the text field, add checkboxes, or other important elements in a single form. While doing this, you can also learn to structure a web page with accurate formatting.
This is a great way to apply your skills in HTML and CSS, while also building a great portfolio for yourself and your friends. You can play around with the format and also add images to give more weight to the document. Experiment with the fonts and content.
Build a Photography Website
If you have a basic working knowledge of CSS and HTML, you can support the creation of a responsive photography website. Using HTML elements and codes, you can create a button on the page that will redirect the user to your images. Remember to give ample attention to the margin, font colors and sizes, image size, and styling of the button.
There are several websites and online courses that offer HTML tutorials and online classes for beginners. Some of the most popular ones include:
- @WebDevByDoing: This platform offers a free course for freshers in web development and computer science. It covers important elements of HTML, CSS, codes, and final project work.
- FreedCodeCamp: It offers a packed course of 11 hours on HTML and CSS. You will get a chance to learn both the programs from scratch and also create your own projects at the end of the program.
Computer programming languages like HTML and CSS have a wide scope in terms of their application and career prospects. Start early with free online courses, if you look forward to becoming experts in this field. You can always refer your queries to the team of expert tutors at Superprof, who can help you build clarity on the subject before you decide to take the plunge.
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