HTML Basics

Markup, the basis of every page

HTML is a markup languages composed of elements, which contain attributes (some optional and some mandatory.) These elements are used to markup the various different types of content in documents, specifying what each bit of content is supposed to be rendered as in web browsers (for example headings, paragraphs, tables, bulleted lists etc.) As you’d expect, elements define the actual content type, while attributes define extra information about those elements, such as an ID to identify that element, or a location for a link to point to. You should bear in mind that markup is supposed to be as semantic as possible, i.e.– it is supposed to describe the function of the content as accurately as possible.

Figure 1 shows the anatomy of a typical HTML element.

A typical HTML element

Figure 1: Anatomy of an HTML element.

Tags

An HTML tag is always contained between a left angle bracket “<” and a right angle bracket “>”. These tags are special instructions designed to mark or “tag” a particular section of the web page, for example to identify a set of text as bold. The tags do not appear in the visual display of the web page. In general, HTML tags have a starting tag “<tag>” and an ending tag that has the same name as the starting tag but with a forward slash at the beginning “</tag>”. The text in between the starting and ending tags is the only text affected by the tags.For example, to make some text bold, the HTML would be written as follows:Here is some text, and <b>this text will show bold</b> when displayed in a browser.

<Head> & <Body> Sections

An HTML web page is divided into to two major sections, the head and body. The head section is a description of the page, with its title, any meta tags, JavaScript, and other special information about the page. The head section does not contain any displayed content. The body section contains a description of how the page should look and work, including the text, text markup, links for in-line images, form descriptions, links to other pages, and page enhancements such as Flash, JavaScript, etc.

Basic HTML

A simple example of a web page

<html>
<head>
   <title>Basic HTML</title>
</head>

<body>
   Some text for a web page that demonstrates the basic form of HTML in a web page.
</body>
</html>

One thought on “HTML Basics”

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