Back in the day (hmm…. let’s say about six years ago) there was this thing called “Myspace.” Some of us may even remember having one and vaguely recall the days it was cool.
I admit to having had one and I thought it was the best thing ever. Not only could I send short messages to my friends, but I could post pictures and all the glitz and glam I found on the web where everyone could see it.
Myspace was also my first introduction to HTML.
Back then, I knew how to make fonts look bold or different colors. I could take the code for a profile theme and tweak it to my heart’s content and I never thought twice about it. Today I am taking a course that teaches the wonders of HTML and CSS and I smile every time I think that I have been unknowingly writing code for years.
If you have ever thoughtlessly written a bit of code and wondered about it, look no further! I will explain some of the basics that make web pages so amazing.
HTML (or hypertext markup language)is a name for the code that gives a web page structure. Think of it as the backbone of a web page.
There is a method to the madness that I won’t go into, but you can check out this tutorial for the “hands on” stuff.
Using simple code combinations (called tags), you are able to tell the browser where you want text, images, or hyper-links (collectively known as content) to appear on the page. It sounds so simple – and it is! The only catch is that it’s like it’s very own language and you have to know what it’s saying before you can use it. There are hundreds of sites on the web that go into detail of what all the different tags do, so I won’t waste space by listing them here. The tutorial I have linked above will show you several tags as well as how to code a simple web page. Check it out!
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
CSS is the coding for the web page’s style. Font color, borders, margins… all this can be defined using CSS coding.
This tutorial will teach you basic HTML and CSS, while this tutorial focuses on CSS.
What’s the difference? Well, I’m no expert, but from what I have read, CSS works when it is embedded into HTML code. I think of it as similar to learning to play piano. I could learn how to play with only my right hand, then learn to play using both hands once I have mastered that, or I could learn to play with both hands at once.
Learning HTML by itself is useful at the beginning when you just want to learn to put words on a page with minimal style and get it out to the web. Learning CSS by itself probably won’t do you much good. It would be like learning to play left-handed piano alone – you would be able to play only part of a song.
Learning HTML and CSS together will allow you to incorporate all aspects of style and layout into the process without going backwards for each new concept.
However you choose to learn, once you get started you will be amazed and delighted at what you can do with a few simple tips and tricks. Best of luck and happy creating!