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HTML – The Beginners Guide

Perhaps the simplest way to define HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is that it is the structural foundation of a web page. In more techie terms, HTML is the markup language for static website creation. A markup language is computer speak for tags that define the different elements in a document. It’s confusing, we know! Take note; HyperText Markup Language is not involved in the style of a website; this is where CSS comes into play.

HTML for a Twoggle Techie - The Beginners Guide

Every website on the web is made up of this clever language; in fact, it is the most widely used markup language in the world. HTML consists of tags that the author writes and saves as a .html file and it is viewed by browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer; does anyone even use Explorer these days?! Used to mark and describe different content, HTML enables the web browser to display them as the author wants.

What Are HTML Tags?

Tags or elements are the main building blocks of HTML. Here are some widely used HTML tags which you can acquaint yourself with:

Anchor Tag: Use anchor tags to link to an interior or exterior part of the web. We commonly know them as links.

Heading Tags: Heading tags do exactly what they say on the tin; they represent headings on a website. They come in 6 different variations which are h1,h2,h3,h4,h5 and h6. For a primary heading, h1 is best while h6 is ideal for representing the least important heading or a subheading.

Paragraph Tag: Paragraph tags (<p>) add text to a website

Image Tags: Image tags are pretty self-explanatory. Images can be added to a website using this tag.

Semantic Tags: These are new additions to HTML5. Semantic Tags help the coder and search engines like Google to understand the content better. Some of the most used ones include: <article>, <aside>,<div>,<footer> etc.

How do I write HTML?

Use any text editor to write HTML code, including the default one on Windows. Some of the popular ones are Sublime Text, Atom, VS Code Editor and Notepad 2. Some advanced text editors are explicitly for writing code. For example, some versions automatically indent the code, so it looks more human readable.

Does it have to be online all the time?

The short answer is no. You can save HTML code as a .html file and view it locally. If you do wish for it to be visible on the web, you will need a domain and hosting. You will have to upload the .html file to your domain through an FTP client like FileZilla, Core FTP.

Newest Version of HyperText Markup Language

The latest version of HTML is HTML5. On 28th October of 2014, the world met HTML5. In November of 2016, HTML 5.1 was officially released as a W3C Recommendation. The main difference between versions 4 and 5 was that the newer version fixed a lot of cross-browser issues. One of these issues was that a tag would work on one browser and not on another one.

The most interesting new HTML5 elements are:

New Semantic Elements : <header>, <footer>, <article>, and <section>

New attributes of form elements like number, date, time, calendar, and range

New graphic elements: <svg> and <canvas>

New multimedia elements: <audio> and <video>

The Drawbacks of HTML

HTML is the basic block of the web, but without other technologies like CSS and JavaScript, it’s useless. Essentially, a website built using only HyperText Markup Language is static. If you want to style your site, you need to apply CSS to it, and if you want the website to be interactive, you require JavaScript or jQuery. HTML works in conjunction with some exterior plugins and APIs to do various tasks. For example, Geolocation API can find a user’s exact location; the sneaky little bugger!

Hopefully, this blog gives you a little bit of insight into HTML although if you are anything like some of the Twogs team, the wild world of the markup language is still confusing!


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