Introduction to HTML

What is HTML?

HTML, an acronym for HyperText Markup Language, is a computer language for creating websites and web applications. Consisting mainly series of codes usually written in a text file and saved as HTML, code written in the HTML language translates into a beautiful, well-formatted text or a combination of text and media when viewed through a browser.
HTML was first developed by British physicist Tim Berners-Lee in 1990, and it has gone through so many evolutions since then that the most recent version can achieve far more than was imagined possible when the language was first invented.
In this tutorial, we will go through the basics of the HTML language and all you need to know to get started with HTML as a beginner.

HTML Versions

First, a quick rundown of all the HTML versions since HTML was invented.
  • HTML 1.0: This was the barebones version of HTML and the very first release of the language.
  • HTML 2.0: This version was introduced in 1995. It gradually evolved, allowing extra capabilities including form-based file upload, tables, client-side image maps and internationalization.
  • HTML 3.2: In an attempt to ensure development of standards for the World Wide Web, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) was founded by Tim Berners-Lee in 1994. By 1997, they published HTML 3.2.
  • HTML 4.0: Later in 1997, the W3C released HTML 4.0 — a version that adopted many browser-specific element types and attributes.
  • HTML 4.0 was later reissued with minor edits in 1998.
  • HTML 4.01: In December 1999, HTML 4.01 was released.
  • XHTML: The specifications were introduced in 2000 and it was recommended to be used as the joint-standard with HTML 4.01. It incorporated XML to ensure code is properly written and to ensure interoperability between programming languages.
  • HTML5: The W3C published HTML5 as a recommendation in October 2014 and later released HTML 5.1 in November 2016.

Choosing Your HTML Editor

If you are thinking of creating web pages in HTML, you need an HTML editor. There are several benefits to using an HTML editor.
A good HTML editor will keep your code clean and organized. It will also detect when you open a new tag and automatically close it to avoid you having a buggy code and as a result reducing how much typing you have to do. Most HTML editors today allow you to preview your web page to see how it will look like in a web browser using their WYSIWYG feature.
There are many free and paid HTML editors, below are some of the top options you can choose from:

Basic Building Blocks of HTML

Once you’ve decided on the HTML editor you want to use, the next step is to understand the building blocks of HTML. When coding in HTML, it is essential to understand these building blocks. They include tags, attributes and elements. We will take a basic look at them below:

Introduction to Tags

Once you’re into HTML, the first thing you need to understand is tags. In essence, tags separate normal text from HTML code.
Consequently, when it comes to HTML, tags make the difference between whether your document is displayed as ordinary text or “transformed text” which is basically a code of text which appears to display a series of things (hyperlinks, images, media, or other  methods of formatting) based on what it is instructed to display based on tags.
Let’s take a look at the word “He is a boy” as an example:
  • In ordinary text format you get: He is a boy.
  • In bold text format you get: He is a boy
To achieve what we have in the bold format you have to use the <b> tag.

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