Building a Website From HTML and CSS: Back to the Basics

Remember having fun with HTML and CSS?

I built my first HTML website in 2002. It was a local music news website, covering upcoming shows and local bands in Hampton Roads and Richmond, Virginia. At its peak, it had a hand-full of daily visitors and one occasional contributor besides me. I lost interest and let it lapse in 2006 when I moved to Washington, DC.

I’ve done some web development since then, but mostly using existing templates in WordPress. That taught me CSS, or rather, built upon the CSS I learned tweaking a secret LiveJournal page. Don’t judge, you probably had one too.

Why learn (or re-learn) HTML and CSS?

For me, it is a journey to build more skills in front-end development to complement my ongoing education in UX design. I decided to get back to the basics, rather than skip ahead to JavaScript or something more complicated. I dove back into the world of raw HTML and CSS.

For you? Maybe you’re a young, budding web designer. Maybe you’re like me and augmenting skills while in school or looking for a career shift.

Either way, HTML and CSS are the foundation and the framework of web development. My goal is to get comfortable with the powers of HTML and CSS, and then add on with new skills along the way. As of now, the plan is to learn Bootstrap, PHP, JavaScript and Angular. I’ll add on some elements of each as I go.

HTML and CSS resources

For the HTML and CSS portion of the exercise, I went with the following apps and resources:

Sublime Text
This text editor is built for coding. You can set the code from the start by selecting it from the options, or simply save your file and Sublime Text recognizes and sets the code based on the file extension. The editor includes syntax completion and highlighting, which saves a lot of coding and debugging time once you get used to having it available.

W3 Schools
This is a tutorial, resource and how-to guide for most basic to intermediate web coding tasks and languages. I relied on this resource heavily to catch back up and learn new things in HTML and CSS, and even started peppering in some Bootstrap from here. Looking down the road, it also has resources for JavaScript, jQuery, AngularJS, JSON, PHP, Python, Node.js and others.

I look forward to sharing my journey. Next up? Showcasing version 1.0 of alexashtondesigns.com!