This online tutorial will help you learn about HTML. It will answer questions you might have such as:
- What is HTML?
- How does HTML work on the World Wide Web?
- Do I need to learn HTML?
We're going to start with the very basics so that you can be sure we're covering all the little bits you need to finish this tutorial.
If you'd like to learn about the World Wide Web and Web browsers, click here.
What is HTML?
HTML is an acronym that stands for HyperText Markup Language.
HypertextOpens in a new window is just normal text, in English or another language, with references to other text that you can immediately access by clicking a link.
Hypertext makes it easy to navigate quickly around the Web seeking out information that interests you.
Some Other Tags
Many HTML tags are very simple. Here are some of them:
- to make bold text, it's <b>bold text</b>
- to make italic text, it's <i>italic text</i>
- to make a major heading, it's <h1>My Life</h1>
What You Need To Know
Here's all you need to remember, unless you're going to learn to write HTML:
- Instructions to your browser are in tags between < and >
- Normally, you can't see tags. You only see their text.
- It's possible to view the source of any HTML page and see the HTML tags.
- Everything outside the tags is normal text that will be shown to you in your browser window
HTML, then, is simply a way of creating Hypertext. For example, to provide you with a Hypertext link (also called simply a hyperlink) that takes you to our web site, we "markup" the text like this:
<a href="http://www.tectite.com/">web site</a>
The markup consists of HTML tags, which are written between a < and a >. Inside these tags are the instructions to the browser about what the page author wants to happen.
In the above example, we've created an anchor tag, with a hypertext reference (or href - another name for a hyperlink) that's the web location of our website.
The anchor tag begins with <a, then has some information about it until the closing >.
The </a> tells the browser that we're finished with making the hyperlink, and to go back to displaying normal text.
The text between the <a ... > and the </a> is just normal text that's displayed to you - except that because it's a hyperlink, your browser will display it in a special way. On our site, it's displayed in blue, with an underline.
That's pretty simple to understand, right?
HTML is easy to read once you get your "eye in". Of course, it has lots of features that make the typical web page very busy with tags, but the principle is just as simple as the example above.
HTML and the World Wide Web
The World Wide Web is almost entirely made up of HTML documents.
This means that almost every web page you view is built from content and markup in HTML format. There are a few exceptions to this, such as Adobe FlashOpens in a new window. However, even Flash-based web pages must be encapsulated with some HTML markup. And, in order to display a Flash-based web page, your browser must download and install extra software onto your computer.
So, the Web and HTML are intimately related, and this isn't like to change anytime soon.
Do I need to learn HTML?
In almost all cases, however, this results in web pages written in HTML.
Therefore, if you're a web site owner, it's always a good idea to learn enough HTML so that you can understand what you're seeing when you view the source of your web pages.
As we've illustrated above, it's not very complicated to understand and you'll benefit greatly from having a basic understanding of HTML.