So you’re ready to learn how to create web pages of your own from scratch? Awesome! Anyone who wishes to have something to do with web development usually starts off with these two treats: HTML and CSS. The former creates the content for pretty much any website we visit. The latter then takes care of the styling, or the look and feel, of the page.
Since I’ve been doing some serious progress with my HTML and CSS skills lately, this post is all about the first of those. I’ll discuss CSS in a separate post soon. Getting started with HTML is very easy and quick, thanks to its extremely straightforward logic and grammar.
I originally wanted to start coding to be able to develop my own web apps, among other things. First I wanted to learn Python to develop the back-end functionalities. After that, HTML and CSS would come into the picture. They’d be the first tools for the front-end development part of my project. It’s been a while since I first started with them, but I still wanted to write a post about how the experience was for me.
— See also: Back-End Development vs Front-End Development
— See also: Why I Started to Teach Myself to Code
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What’s HTML all about?
So in order to create some awesome content on any webpage, you’ll need to know HTML. It stands for Hyper Text Markup Language, and basically every website you know uses it.
Hence it’s a markup language, which sets it apart from languages such as Python, Java, or Ruby, for example. HTML creates and structures the content of a web page, such as text or embedded videos and other media.
Why is HTML so great?
The best part of HTML is that is has a really straightforward and logical grammar for a beginner developer. It’s an excellent place to start at when you’re totally new to programming overall.
Additionally, since we all see and use websites on a daily basis, it’s cool to be able to better understand the way all the pages online are constructed.
It’s super easy and quick to learn the basics of HTML. You’ll be creating your first – yet very basic – website very quickly. You just need to learn a few basic keywords – elements, tags, attributes – to be able to build an entire page with text and some media on it. Of course this will not exactly result in a breathtaking world-class user experience, but it’s a great starting point!
What’s also really cool about HTML is that you see the results of your work right away! This is great when you’re just getting started with your journey as a developer. Once you create some content for a website, you’re able to open it in a web browser and see exactly how it’ll look for a curious surfer visiting your page.
Moreover, with HTML you don’t necessarily need to know much about computer science in general to understand its dynamics and how it works. With programming languages focused on problem-solving, it’s easier to grasp what you’re actually doing if you have a basic understanding of how computers work and what they’re capable of.
Why did I learn HTML?
As I already mentioned, I initially started learning how to code so I could create my own web applications one day. Once I started learning Python for creating the back-end framework, I knew it would soon be time to get my hands on an HTML guide.
Additionally, after I started to learn coding, I got the thought of launching my own website and blogging about programming. I had learned some really basic HTML before, but that was like 15 years ago. Back then you could create a really cool website just with HTML. In those days the focus was so much more on the content than now. There was not much interactivity or cool, modern layouts to feast on back then.
So with a little bit of experience with HTML I thought: cool, at least I know something about it already! Now I just had to find the suitable resources for learning more!
Building my first HTML page
One great way to learn HTML in practice is to just pick a subject you’re interested in and then dedicate your very first website to it. I fairly recently started with a great course on Udemy for improving my web development skills. It’s The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0 and it starts with learning the basics of HTML. So far the course has been really great!
As an exercise, I dedicated my first HTML page to one of the most amazing gifts from this universe to humankind: the beetroot. The page reminded me of the Web as I first got to know it – about 20 years ago. The optics aside, the feeling of seeing something you just created from scratch is extremely rewarding and motivating! I’ll keep you posted about the progress of my very own veggie encyclopedia.
A website created with purely HTML does quite honestly look like a relic from the ’90s. One can only go so far with paragraphs, links, headers, and media. The next logical step would be to change the look of the page with some styling!
Nowadays, websites are all about the look and the feel of the entire user experience. That’s where CSS steps into the picture.
Resources for getting started with HTML
As you might expect, there are more online resources for getting started with HTML than you will ever need. So it’s all about taking a look at a few courses or guides and finding one that suits you the best.
To help you out, I’ve put together a list of beginners’ courses for HTML and other web development tools that I recommend. Check it out!
If you learn better using a good book, I’d recommend reading my book review on HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites by Jon Duckett. Highly recommended for HTML and CSS beginners!
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