What is HTML Anyways?

Guest post Jen Silva

“HTML” is an acronym for HyperText Markup Language. HTML is the simple programming code used for creating webpages. The Web supports many other programming languages now, but when the Internet was in its infancy, HTML webpages were primarily written in HTML.

HTML allows images and other objects to be embedded in the web page. When a web browser opens a page with HTML code, the browser interprets the code and displays the page elements within the browser. The HTML tags are hidden from view, but they define what is shown by the browser.

Creating an HTML Page

A page that contains HTML code is a simple text file, saved with the file extension of “.htm” or “.html.” An HTML code page may be created in a simple text editor, such as Notepad, or may be created using a complex WYSIWYG editor, such as Dreamweaver. Web pages, including HTML-based pages, may be created entirely offline. You will need to test the pages for formatting and errors in a web browser, however, but you do not need to be online to test the pages.

The text file contains the web page content, such as text, pictures, embedded videos and music, as well as other elements that may be displayed in the browser. HTML code allows the developer to format and place text and other page elements within the web page using “tags.” For example, HTML code that includes the “bold” tag will bold the text that the tags surrounds.

HTML tags are code statements enclosed in the “less than” and “greater than” symbols on the keyboard (“<example>”). The first tag of the set defines the tag, and the second tag of the set closes the command. For example, when bolding text, the first tag will define the “bold” command with a “b”. All of the text following the tag, will be bold. The starting tag for the “bold” statement is “<b>”. The end tag defines the end of the command. The standard ending tag for HTML is the foreslash (“/”), followed by the code letter or letters, and then enclosed in the “less than” and “greater than” symbols. for example, to end the “bold” code, “/b” would be enclosed in the symbols – “</b>”. This tag tells the browser, in the case of the bolding example, that the “bold” command is now terminated.

A quick Web search will provide you with a list of standard HTML codes. HTML includes commands for formatting text, creating bulleted and non-bulleted lists, embedding images and other objects, as well as for invoking other languages, such as JavaScript and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

HTML allows scripting languages such as JavaScript to be executed within the page by using the “script” tags, and defining any additional libraries the JavaScript command will use. JavaScript, as well as other scripting languages, add functionality to the standard HTML page.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is “called” by an HTML tag. CSS is a text file that contains code for defining the styles and formatting to be included in the page. CSS may be included directly within the HTML page, or may be a seperate text file that is called by the HTML code.

HTML is a very basic programming language that has been used for coding web pages since the first graphical browser was introduced in the mid-1990s. However, HTML is very versatile and still used for coding web pages today.

Jen Silva writes articles for small business owners related to online fax services and reviews on tax software such as TurboTax. Visit her at ChooseWhat.com to read online fax reviews and other articles related to small business owners.

Image: Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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