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What Are the Best Tips for Learning HTML?

Article Details
  • Written By: Ray Hawk
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 10 October 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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Learning HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language, can be a simple process, depending on how much detail someone wants to go into by designing web pages with it. Becoming familiar with basic webpage design and structure can help to give a visual example of what the HTML coding stands for. Other methods include experimenting with code, using an instruction book, taking a tutorial, and eventually learning a more sophisticated programming language.

One of the best and easiest methods to get started learning HMTL is to look at the code for favorite websites, especially small, personal sites, and see how they have been designed. This can be done in most web browsers. In three of the most popular versions of web browser, the path to view source code is done by going to the top border menu and clicking on Page — View Source; View — Page Source; or View — View Source.

Experimenting with HTML code can result in a basic education as to how it works in a matter of a few hours. By copying source code from a chosen web site and placing it in a basic text editor, the file can then be saved with a generic file name of “x.htm” or “x.html”. Clicking on it will open it as a web page. Modifying the code as it is viewed, while using an introductory HTML instruction book as guidance, will result in a rapid process for learning HTML to design personally-designed web pages.

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Many HTML tutorials also exist on the Internet for free, and a wide variety of websites are dedicated to learning HTML and doing the hundreds of different things that can be accomplished with HTML code. Though there are many layers of difficulty involved in learning HTML and webpage design in general, almost all World Wide Web (WWW) Internet sites use HTML and rely on the same collection of tags for design elements. Tags are individual lines of computer coding in the HTML language which perform functions, such as making text bold or italicized, indenting it or centering it, choosing how an image will be displayed and at what size, and more.

As webpages have become more sophisticated, other types of scripting languages have become incorporated into web design. One of the most popular versions of this is javascript, which is a level of difficulty above HTML in terms of the learning curve. Mastering javascript can take a year or more, but understanding the basics of how it works can be accomplished in a relatively short period of time. Javascript instruction and free code is also widely available on the Internet. For someone learning HTML for the first time, it is best to not try altering javascript, but instead just finding free examples of the code that does what is desired and pasting it in the webpage as instructed.

Java is often confused with javascript, but they are not related. Java is a high level programming language that must be compiled into a form of machine instructions before it will function. By contrast, learning javascript, like learning HTML, Extensible Markup Language (XML), or dynamic HTML (DHTML) are all similar processes as they are all scripting languages. They are read by the browser, which interprets the code's meaning directly from the English language characters without the need of a compiler.

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