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[HTML5] What is HTML?

category: Website | course: HTML5 | difficulty:
1. Creating HTML pages

HTML means HyperText Markup Language. HTML5 simply means the fifth version of the language, the one that is in development at the moment and the best so far. Most of it is implemented by all browsers – when something is not present, I’ll mention it.

The first thing to notice is that it isn’t a programming or scripting language. It’s a markup language. All it does is group text or media inside so-called tags or elements, so that each element can then be styled or programmed later on with another language. It can be written in a simple text editor, is readable by anyone, and doesn’t have to be compiled. It is the most basic structure of a webpage; if your text isn’t divided into different elements with specific names, you have no way of styling the text or attaching some other (programming) function to it. Also, browsers (or other web devices) have no idea about how to interpret your page.

This is a good thing for most people. HTML is very easy to learn and use, and after creating a few webpages you’ve probably seen all that there is to it. I, however, still recommend reading through the whole course, trying out the examples, and testing yourself if you really understand something. After all, a good start is half the battle!

Creating HTML pages

You can use the live html editor on this website to experiment and create, but sooner or later you’ll need to have your own HTML files to play with. Using the standard simple text editor that's included with your OS is perfectly possible; just save the files with .html at the end and you’re fine. You can then right-click and choose to open the file with your browser to preview it.

When your projects grow in size, however, it’s useful to get a specialized editor. I recommend these:

  • Brackets.io (free)
  • Sublime Text (not free)

Now we’re ready to kick off!

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