Site Development: Basic HTML - Soundings Online

Site Development: Basic HTML

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Site Development: Basic HTML

Although Centralopint does not require HTML knowledge, based on our Rich Text Formatting, many clients still want to build a basic understanding of HTML.

This is a very basic and introductory look at HTML. HTML stands for "Hypertext Markup Language," consisting of combinations of characters that define how a web page is to be displayed. Even if you are planning on using a WYSIWYG editor you should know the very basics of HTML. This will help you use what you like from other pages on the web to create your own, unique site.

First, right-click on this web page or find an item in your browser's menu that reads something like "view source" or "source code." Select this to see the HTML code that was used to create this page you are reading. Take some time to read over it and notice that is is remarkably easy to understand.

You need to know that HTML is written with tags. Tags are instructions enclosed in less than and greater than signs. For example, if you want to tell your visitor's browser that something is an image, you would use the <img> tag. Almost all tags have an ending tag as well. This is so you can enclose things, or wrap a tag around text or images. The ending tag looks like the others, but it has a back-slash before the word (/).

Let's look at an example. There are a few absolute requirements for web pages. Every page has the basic structure of:

<html>
<head>

</head>
<body>

</body>
</html>

Note how the page has the <html> tag as well as the </html> ending tag. This means that everything between these two tags is an HTML document. Everything within the <head> tags is part of the header. This is where you would put the title of your document (what is written up at the top in the browser title bar, this page's title is "The Web Site Wizard - A Quick Guide To Creating Your First Web Site"), as well as any other information about the page that you don't want written on the page itself. Everything else goes within the <body> tags, as the body of your page.

A very simple page would have HTML something like this:

<html>
<head>
<title>My Web Site</title>
</head>
<body bgcolor="white">
<p>
Hello! Thanks for visiting my web site -- I make web pages!
</p>
</body>
</html>

The title of "My Web Site" would show up in the browser's title bar. The page would be white, because of the background color (bgcolor). The <p> tags enclose a paragraph. You would see

Hello! Thanks for visiting my web site -- I make web pages!

like what is shown here. When you write HTML, spaces and carriage returns don't show up in the actual page. In other words, you could've written that part in the <body> like:

<p>
Hello!

Thanks for
visiting my site -
- I make web pages!

</p>

and it would turn out exactly the same.