HTML Basics

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. Hypertext means "text with links in it." Any time you click on a word that brings you to a new webpage, you've clicked on hypertext!

A markup language is a programming language used to make text do more than just sit on a page: it can turn text into images, links, tables, lists, and much more. HTML is the markup language we'll be learning.

What makes webpages pretty? That's CSS—Cascading Style Sheets. Think of it like skin and makeup that covers the bones of HTML. We'll learn HTML first, then worry about CSS in later courses.

The first thing we should do is set up the skeleton of the page.

a. Always put <!DOCTYPE html> on the first line. This tells the browser what language it's reading (in this case, HTML).
b. Always put <html> on the next line. This starts the HTML document.
c. Always put </html> on the last line. This ends the HTML document.

  1. Go ahead and put the three lines mentioned above into test.html, which is now blank.

  2. In between the second and last line (between the <html> and the </html>), feel free to write whatever message you like.

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In HTML, the order you put things in matters! But formatting (i.e. empty space) doesn't matter from a technical point of view.

You will notice there's a pattern in how we indent each line of HTML, though. This is to aid readability and help us catch mistakes. We'll talk more about indentation later!

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