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12 January 2012

Beginner's Guide To HTML

HTML is an essential skill for anyone with a website or blog. Find out how to get started with my six page Beginner's Guide to HTML article in Micro Mart magazine issue 1191.

All the HTML code examples from the article are in this GitHub repository.

Here are a couple of extracts:

HTML standards and specifications are managed by an International organisation called the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). These standards are posted on their website (w3.org), along with additional information of web protocols, languages, technologies and tools.

While there's been a succession of HTML specifications, version 4 proved to be the de-facto standard of the modern web - lasting from early 2000 until 2009, when version 5 started to appear. These long reigns provide a sense of stability for web browser and web tool software developers.

Importantly, each new version is largely backwardly compatible. So, as HTML5 contains almost all of HTML4's features, HTML skills gained a decade ago are still highly applicable and relevant today. And knowledge gained today will still be applicable for many years to come.

The special !DOCTYPE tag on the first line is purely optional and informs other software that this is an HTML page.

The header section is contained within the <head> tag pair, and often contain quite a lot of HTML functionality. One notable header element to look out for is the <title>, which defines the text you'll see at the top of the web browser - a key factor in a search engine finding a blog or website.

In the header you're also likely to see a collection of <meta> tags containing document information, and <link> tags to reference external files such CSS stylesheets or XML documents. And there might also be a collection of <style> definitions and a some JavaScript code in the <script> element tag pairs.

Download the free Micro Mart iPad/iPhone app and purchase this issue for only £1.49.

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