Understanding HTML opens up the web. Once you know what it is, and how it works, you’ll soon see how the basics of much of the entire internet functions – and more importantly: both how basic web pages are created and how to edit them. What’s more, although daunting at first, HTML is really a very very simple language to learn! Ready to find out all about it?
Firstly, HTML is a computer language devised to allow website creation. These websites can then be viewed by anyone else connected to the Internet. It is relatively easy to learn, with the basics being accessible to most people in one sitting; and quite powerful in what it allows you to create. It is constantly undergoing revision and evolution to meet the demands and requirements of the growing Internet audience under the direction of the W3C, the organisation charged with designing and maintaining the language.
HTML’s definition is HyperText Markup Language.
- HyperText is the method by which you move around on the web — by clicking on a special text called hyperlinks which bring you to the next page. The fact that it is hyper just means it is not linear — i.e. you can go to any place on the Internet whenever you want by clicking on links — there is no set order to do things in.
- Markup is what HTML-tags do to the text inside them. They mark it as a certain type of text (italicised text, for example).
- HTML is a Language, as it has code-words and syntax like any other language.
How does HTML work?
HTML consists of a series of shortcodes typed into a text file by the site author — these are the tags. The text is then saved as an HTML file, and viewed through a browser, like Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator. This browser reads the file and translates the text into a visible form, hopefully rendering the page as the author had intended. Writing your own codes based on it entails using tags correctly to create your vision. You can use anything from a rudimentary text-editor to a powerful graphical editor to create HTML pages.
About The Tags
The tags are what separate normal text from HTML code. You might know them as the words between the
<angle-brackets>. They allow all the cool stuff like images and tables and stuff, just by telling your browser what to render on the page. Different tags will perform different functions. The tags themselves don’t appear when you view your page through a browser, but their effects do. The simplest tags do nothing more than apply formatting to some text, like this:
<b>These words will be bold</b>, and these will not.
In the example above, the
<b> tags were wrapped around some text, and their effect will be that the contained text will be bolded when viewed through an ordinary web browser, for example, on your Safari.