Learn HTML. It will Help Your Career.

How to Write HTML, Part 1: What is HTML?

Look, I know what you’re saying.

“Why do I need to learn HTML or any basic coding? I deal in account, product management, copy, finances, etc.”

The simple answer: if you don’t know how to write HTML — or have a basic understanding of what HTML is and how it functions across the Internet — you will never begin to understand the core fundamentals of the digital landscape.

So, first and foremost, what is HTML?

What is HTML?

HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language, is defined as:

“a standardized system for tagging text files to achieve font, color, graphic, and hyperlink effects on World Wide Web pages.”

HTML, along with CSS and JavaScript, are the basic languages of the Internet used to make webpages look the way you want them to look.

As noted by Adobe Certified Instructor James Williamson:

“Although CSS controls how a page looks, and JavaScript controls how it behaves, HTML provides the essential structure for web pages. Take away the CSS, and you simply have an unstyled page. Take away the JavaScript, and certain behaviors may cease to function. Take away the HTML however, and you’re left with nothing at all, no web page, no content, nothing. In fact, to have a website, all you really need is HTML. A properly written HTML document will not only be readable to the user, but will also convey the structure of the document, the relationship of its content to each other, and allow the user to link to other pages and sites.”

HTML is the groundwork. Without it, you do not have a full understanding of the foundations of the web and you become lost when working on digital projects.

HTML is important to learn to understand the basics of the web and digital products

Why is HTML Important to Learn?

Sure, HTML editors like FrontPage and Dreamweaver allow you to build webpages without truly understanding the code behind those pages, but those editors make mistakes. By learning HTML you have the ability to fix mistakes, adjust code as needed and perform your own coding when needed.

More to the point, in terms of content creation, learning basic HTML will enable you to format a webpage as you wish and format the content of that page as you see fit. If anything, HTML is your basic principle for getting your voice heard across the Internet.

Understanding the Basics

HTML, so called Hypertext Markup, is named as such because it allows you to markup content in order to determine what that content is and how it relates/corresponds to additional content on a given page.

How does it do this? Tags.

A tag is the basic bedrock principle of HTML. It is the building block tool which enables formatting of font, color, graphic, and hyperlinks. Tags are used universally across HTML to identify specific types of content and how a webpage is formatted. For example:

  1. A paragraph tag is represented by p and /p
  2. The title of a page is defined by title and /title

The tags, p and title bookend the content placed in the middle, in this case represented by the word and. By knowing the rules of how tags work, which tags to use in a specific situation and more importantly, how tags relate to one another, it becomes stupid simple to create a HTML page.

So, now that you have a basic understanding of what HTML is used for and its basic functional elements, let’s move on to a deeper exploration of tags.