Every Web page you see on the Internet, regardless of the technology powering the website, is the output of an HTML file. Making a website by directly coding HTML has become increasingly optional as time has moved on. To understand what HTML does, you should think of webpages as files – HTML files interpreted by the browser. It is therefore easy to create a website using just HTML, as long as you do not have a large number of pages, or the need to update them regularly. Getting started with HTML is pretty easy, as all you need to do is understand all the tags and rules used in the language. Let’s look at an example of a HTML file which will be displayed on our browser as a Web page. In the screenshot below, you can see what is displayed in the browser when you load the code above. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is the language used to style Web page elements and define their layout on a Web page. With CSS, you can define, with precision, the colour of your text elements, size, position, etc. With JavaScript, you can add cool effects such as image slideshows, a countdown clock, moving text etc.


However, you can now do all of this and more using CMS platforms, as discussed earlier in this article.
Meanwhile, learning the basics of HTML in the background will give you a deeper understanding of how things fit together.
About ten years ago, quite a lot of Web developers used to code directly into HTML, using the kind of language we will introduce below. Many people (including most big Web design firms) now use Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress or Joomla. For a quick demo, you can copy and paste the following code into Notepad (on Windows) and save the file as demo.html.
You are starting a new html file with this tag – if it’s missing, the browser won’t recognize the file as a HTML file. It is within this section of a webpage that things such as text paragraphs, sub headings, images, tables, page divisions etc.
Note that the image only shows as a placeholder, as you would need to have a suitably named image on the Web server to display it. A great online resource where you can learn about all the HTML tags is one the HTMLdog website. They contain content but lack styling – as you’ve can probably see from the uninspiring screenshot above!


JavaScript is used to add to some life to these elements – for instance a pop-up box explaining some text on the page. By all means learn the basics of HTML, as they will help you, but you may find advanced functionality is now best left to these well-developed systems – unless you are a serious enthusiast!
If you are new to Web design, we would first recommend getting familiar with a Content Management System, and we would recommend WordPress as it is the most approachable.
Yes, you can still open Notepad and begin to program a website from scratch – but the question to ask yourself is if you truly need to? These handle most of the coding in the background, although it’s still possible to access it to make minor tweaks and adjustments.
That means they have no means of displaying dynamic content, and each must be created manually.
You’ll not only find a comprehensive reference guide to all the HTML tags, but a hands-on guide on how to use them for your Web pages. Even older Web development tools, such as DreamWeaver, do a reasonable job of creating HTML code from a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) interface.



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