Beginning with HTML

Created on: 3rd December 2020

Whether you’re interested in becoming a professional web developer or you simply want to learn more about how websites work, the first thing you need to study is HTML.

HTML is the standard language that is used for creating webpages and web applications. Every time you access a website, a server sends an HTML file to your computer and your browser interprets and displays the information included in that file. In fact, all the information you are reading now is simply data that has been stored in an HTML file and sent to your browser.

This guide will provide an introduction to writing HTML, examine the basic building blocks of HTML such as tags, elements and attributes. By the end of reading this blog, you should have the basic knowledge required to start working on your own HTML projects.

What Is HTML?

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language, which could be a confusing term for many beginners. The best way to explain HTML is to examine the meaning of each word.

HyperText refers to text that contains links to other texts. Every time you click on a highlighted or underlined link that takes you to another page, you are using hypertext. As the pages increase using hypertext to link to each other, a “web” of pages starts to form. This is where we get the term World Wide Web.

Markup refers to the special symbols or codes that are inserted into a document to tell the web browser how to display the document data. For example, markup code may tell the browser to display a phrase in bold or italic or underlined, or may tell the browser which parts of the document are headings and which are paragraphs. HTML is just one of a number of languages that uses markup code.

Language refers to the idea that the code is standardized. Just like regular spoken languages, there are certain rules that everyone must follow when writing HTML. This is so that all browsers can understand and interpret the code. There are many different programming languages, some of the popular ones such as Java, Python and Ruby. Each language has its own unique set of rules, and many languages can be used in combination with HTML to create amazing webpages and applications.

Combining the 3 definitions together, HTML is “a programming language that uses unique code which allows you to display linked documents in a browser”.

Example of HTML Code

Whether you’re interested in becoming a professional web developer or you simply want to learn more about how websites work, the first thing you need to study is HTML.

HTML markup consists of several key components, including those called tags (and their attributes), character-based data types, character references and entity references. HTML tags most commonly come in pairs like <h1> and </h1>. The first tag in such a pair is the start tag, and the second is the end tag (they are also called opening tags and closing tags). There are some tags that represent empty elements and so are unpaired, for example <img> or <br>.

Here’s an example of some simple HTML code:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<title>Page Title</title>
<h1>This is a heading.</h1>
<p>This is a paragraph.</p>

If you save this code into a text file with the filename “test.html” and open it in your browser, it should display a page like this:

html output

I know it’s not very exciting, but it’s a good example of a website in its simplest form. Even without any knowledge of HTML, you can probably understand a little bit about how HTML works by simply looking at the code above and comparing it to the image.

You can check out this page's source code as well. Right click -> view source code.

The Basics Of HTML Code

There are three components that form the basic building blocks of HTML code: tags, elements and attributes. Once you’ve learned the rules for how each of these components function, you should have no trouble writing and editing HTML.


Tags are used to separate HTML code from regular text. Any text written inside the angle brackets will not be displayed in the browser. The text inside the angle brackets is just used to tell the browser how to display or transform regular text located between the opening tag (also called the start tag) and the closing tag (also called the end tag).

Tags usually come in pairs, and the difference between an opening tag and a closing tag is that the first symbol inside the brackets of a closing tag is a slash "/" symbol.

For example, If we want to have the sentence display in italic text, we can add an <i> opening tag before the text, and an </i> closing tag after the text. As you’ve probably guessed, the 'i' stands for "italic"

Similarly, If we want to have a word to be displayed as a hyperlink, we can add an <a href=""> opening tag before the text, and an </a> closing tag after the text. Here, 'a' stands for "anchor".

HTML Elements

An element is an opening tag, a closing tag, and all the content that is included between the two tags.

<h3>My Name is Supriya</h3>

In this example, <h3> is the opening tag, </h3> is the closing tag, and "My Name is Supriya" is the content. When we put it all together, we have an element.

Elements are the like the puzzle pieces of HTML. You take a bunch of elements and fit them together to make a complete picture. In its most basic form, a webpage is simply an HTML document that is filled with complete HTML elements.

Now, if you refer to the previous example code, You can probably recognize the h1 and p elements. If you look carefully, you may notice that these two elements are actually nested within another element, the body element. The body element is a special element that contains all the main content of the document that we want displayed in the browser.

Above the body element is another element, the head element. This is where we add special information about the document that we don’t want displayed in the browser, such as the document title and the document style.

The body element and the head element are separate elements, but you may have noticed that these two elements are actually nested inside another element, the html element. The html element is the most basic element of all, and contains all the other elements included in the document.

So if we go back and look at the h1 element, we can see that it is actually an element (h1) within an element (body) within an element (html).When you start writing very complex code, you might find yourself working with elements nested ten, twenty or even one-hundred levels deep!

HTML Attributes

Attributes are used to define additional information about an element. They are located inside the opening tag, and usually come in name/value pairs (name=“value”).

All HTML elements can have attributes, but for most elements, we only use them when we need to.Attributes can be used to define things such as the height and width of an image, the style of an element (eg. color, size, font) and the language of the document.

The aforementioned anchor tags which is used to create a hyperlink:

<a href="">This is some text.</a>

The anchor tag is used to create a hyperlink, and the href attribute is to define the link address. Without the href attribute, you can still click on the link but nothing will happen.

There are three main guidelines for using attributes.

So, when we put together everything we know about tags, elements and attributes, we get a basic template of how an element should be written:

<tag attribute=“value”>Some content</tag>

Let me know what you think about this article. I Hope this helped you get a basic understanding of HTML.

Scroll to the top