There are more than a billion websites in the world right now and this number grows continuously with each passing day.
Do these sites have anything in common? Well, for one, they make use of the same configuration in terms of HTML. This is why in today’s world, learning even basic HTML can be such a handy skill to have.
The thing is, you can still make a website without the need to write a line of code. However, once your website goes live, you still need to learn how to read even the most elementary form of HTML by yourself.
Whether you plan to build a new website, update an existing one or would like to learn more about coding, this guide will help you get a good introduction on HTML as a website builder.
So what exactly is HTML?
It is an acronym that means Hypertext Markup Language and is the standard format that is used in creating web pages, applications and documents. This programming language is made up of a series of code that is typically written within a text file and then saved as HTML. Once viewed on a browser, this code will be translated into a well-formatted combination of text and other media.
In essence, you can find HTML on every web page you see on the Internet, including this page that you are reading at this moment.
As mentioned already, HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. Yet these words don’t really mean a lot to most so we’re going to break them down further so you get to fully grasp its definition.
The word hypertext came into existence more than 50 years ago. It was made to describe the links within a document which make it possible for a user to go to another section of it or to a completely new document. This is exactly what we’re seeing and using each day in today’s Internet.
By now you should know what hyperlinks are which as they are a form of hypertext. While browsing online, you can see either a ‘https://’ or ‘https://’ on each web page on your browser. This stands for hypertext transfer protocol.
Basically, markup language refers to how web pages and documents are being displayed. You might be seeing words that are italic, bigger or bold on a page but behind the scenes, it is the markup language that makes certain parts of a page different.
Markups can be characterised by attributes and tags. Usually, these tags are found in pairs. You can have start tags and end tags, which are also called the opening and closing tags.
When Is HTML Used?
The default language for every website on the Internet right now is HTML. However, it can also be used in various kinds of documents like ebooks.
Once an HTML document is rendered by a browser, all of the tags and markup language are hidden. Users will automatically see the document that’s reader-friendly, just like what you’re seeing here.
Is HTML required to make a website?
Unless you plan to create pages from scratch, then the answer is no. You don’t need to know every single HTML component. You may even do without HTML if you are utilising a Content Management System (CMS) or a blogging platform. For instance, WordPress has a feature called Visual Editor that will automatically translate the text you input into HTML.
When you work with the Visual Editor, the content you put here is similar to a standard Microsoft Word document or email message. But there are also times when these visual editors don’t work as intended. You may find yourself in a scenario where the thing you want to format in a certain way doesn’t get shown correctly.
Aside from that, the HTML you input should be optimised for non-humans. These can be search engine bots, for example, that crawl your website to index it. The manner in which your HTML is read will impact your SEO significantly.
You also have to consider website accessibility. It’s possible for computers to translate web pages to sound which is great for people with disabilities. This requires good quality structuring of HTML as well.
Although platforms available right now makes it possible to develop a website without HTML knowledge, you’d still benefit a lot if you learn at least the basics of it.
The Right HTML Editor
If you’re planning to make web pages with HTML, then what you’re going to need is an HTML editor.
These editors are the best approach for you to organise the code you input and to make everything look clean. Editors are ideal since they recognise whenever there is a new tag opened. The tags get automatically closed by the program to make sure your codes don’t have problems. This also makes it easier as you’ll have to type less.
Aside from that, good HTML editors allow you to preview your content and let you know how it would look on a web browser. Many options exist online but some of the best include:
It’s also possible to learn HTML with a free tool offered by W3Schools.
Each website on the Internet right now makes use of HTML. So if you’re simply managing a website or plan to build one, you’ll find learning even the basics of HTML very useful to let you know and tinker things behind the scene.
You don’t have to go out right now and start making websites from scratch if you lack the expertise. But having an understanding of HTML’s fundamentals, how things work and where you can edit on your website can really help.
It’s highly suggested that you check out at least one of the HTML editors that were mentioned earlier. These tools will let you practice basic coding and will improve your skill by doing so. You can try replicating some examples online to get a better hang of it.
This is one of the best ways you can get introduced to HTML if you don’t have any experience with it.
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