Learning the Basics
You'll be surprised to learn that making a web page
is really very simple! It's actually nothing more than a simple text file
with the file extension .HTM or HTML. HTML stands for Hyper Text Mark-up
Language which uses "tags" so browsers will know how to display the
document's links, text and graphics.
The various elements of an HTML document are
denoted by using tags which consist of a left angle bracket (<), the name of
the tag, and a right angle bracket (>). Most tags are usually paired by
using end tags . The end tag looks just like the start tag except a slash (/)
precedes the text within the brackets. Rather than trying to remember which
tags require end tags and which do not, get it the habit of always using
Read through the following information and at the
bottom of the page I'll show you how to create a simple HTML file.
The required elements of an HTML document are
<html>, <head>, <title>, and <body> as well as their
end tags </html>, </head>, </title>, and </body> .
The<html> tag tells your browser that
the file contains HTML-coded information and must be the first thing that
appears in your document while the end tag </html> must be the last
The <html> tag is followed by the <head>
tag. The <head> tag encloses only the <title> tag
(for now). An example:
<title>A Beginner's Tutorial to HTML
(Note: The <title> tag should contain a
short description of your web page (no longer than 60 characters). The
Title appears at the very top of your browser but does not appear in the
browser window itself.
The next tag would be the <body> tag which
would contain the information you'd want displayed on your webpage. The
</body> tag would be the second to last tag to appear on your page, right
before the </html> tag.
<title>A Beginner's Tutorial to HTML Demo</title>
<body>The only things that will appear in the browser window are
those things which are enclosed within the <body>...</body>
(Note: Tags are not case sensitive, however, it's a
good idea to use lower case just to be consistent and to make it easier for you
Click here to see what the
above would look like
The best way to learn HTML is by manually keying it
in using a simple text editor like Notepad or WordPad rather than an editor
that automatically inserts the code for you (such as HotMetal Pro, which is
available for several platforms or Adobe PageMill for Macintoshes). These
editors are fine to use once you have a basic understanding of HTML.
Open Notepad or Wordpad and type in the above
example. Save the file by selecting File, Save As on the Menu bar and save it
as a Text (.txt) Document. Give it the file name "index.htm" (always
name your homepage "index.htm", subsequent pages can be called
anything you like).
Open the file in your browser. To view the source of
the document that you just created, select View, Document Source from the Menu
If you make changes to your file, but they don't
register in the browser, try hitting the reload button (if that still doesn't
work try hitting SHIFT+Reload).