Introduction to HTML

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language which is also called as the language of the web. It is a simple markup language which means HTML only defines the formatting and no programming is possible with HTML. For example JavaScript is a programming language used for scripting.  HTML is a derived language from SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) which is an accepted international standard for the description of marked up electronic content.

History of HTML

Currently HTML is at version 5 and below is the short history of the version release.

  • 1995 – HTML 2.0 was introduced as a standard version
  • 1997 – HTML 3.2 was released but was not used by developers
  • 1999 – HTML 4.0 was released and due to the standardization it becomes the standard for web formatting
  • 2004 – Work on HTML5 was started by the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG)
  • 2007 – The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) adopts WHATWG’s work and renames it to HTML5
  • 2010 – Public adoption of HTML5 with push from Apple and Google.

Elements of HTML

HTML elements are called with a general notation “TAGS” used to markup the content of a document for a web browser. HTML tags contain a left angle bracket (<), a tag name, and a right angle bracket (>). There are two kind of HTML tags:

  • Paired Tags

Paired tags should always consist of a starting and a closing tag. Most of the HTML tags are paired tags like <H1> and </H1> where H indicates the heading.

  • Single Tag

These tags are not necessarily to have a closing tag. Example of a single tag includes a line break <BR>.

HTML elements can be a heading, a table or a list and contains text, image or media content. Some tags may include an attribute to provide more information that is included inside the start tag. For example, you can align your heading left or right by including the alignment attribute to the heading tag as:

<H1 ALIGN=”left”>This is an example heading</H1>

How Does HTML Work?

HTML is used to create platform independent hypertext documents which are stored on a web server. In order to view these documents stored on a web server we need to have the followings:

  • A personal computer called as client.
  • A web browser running on a personal computer. Example browsers include Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer.

When a user enters a URL in a browser running on a personal computer, it sends a request to a web server through HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol). The server sends an HTML document as a response to the client request. The entire process of web communication is shown in the below picture.

HTTP Communication Protocol
HTTP Communication Protocol

Since the HTML document is a marked up content, web browser starts interpreting the content and displays it as a beautiful webpage on the window. Though HTML is a standard language each browsers follow their own way of interpreting the HTML tags and hence the display of HTML document is completely depends on the browser.

Open any website in a browser like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer to see the difference in content display.

All HTML tags are not supported by all web browsers. Browser will ignore a tag when it is not supported.

Ready to Learn HTML?

Learning HTML is a real fun and the easiest way to understand the basic elements of a website. HTML is not a programming language which makes it easier for anyone to learn within a short period of time.

Well, what you need for learning HTML?

  • A simple text editor like Notepad (Notepad++ is recommended for better formatting options) for Windows and TextEdit for Mac.
  • A web browser like Chrome or Firefox for Windows and Safari for Mac.

Click on any of the below images to learn corresponding tutorial, alternatively you can also download the complete HTML tutorial in eBook format for offline reading.

Introdution to HTML

HTML Formatting

HTML Lists

HTML Frames

HTML Tables

HTML Table Codes

HTML Images

HTML Image Maps

HTML Forms

HTML Form Elements

Editorial Staff at WebNots are team members who love to build websites and share the learning with webmasters community. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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