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HTML for Complete Beginners

By: M Moyne
Published: March 6, 2018     Updated: March 6, 2018

HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language and is the computer language that most of the Internet is written in.

HTML is made up of tags and sets of tags, a set being two tags that are linked: a start tag and an end tag. HTML is a bit like a person, the head comes first, then the body.

As I've just mentioned the very first main tag of every single HTML document is usually the HTML tag, which is a start tag and is written as <html>. Accompanying it will be the very last tag of the document, the end tag, </html>. Notice the / this means it is an end tag. Every start tag must have an end tag. Start tags begin a section of code and end tags finish it. I say the very first "main" tag as there can be a tag before it, the DOCTYPE tag. This tag gives the browser information about what type of HTML is being used.

The head section begins with the <head> tag and ends with the </head> tag. It has information about the page itself and consists of the page title, the meta tags (more on those in a minute), and the code for any page transitions you may have.

The page title is self-explanatory and is written as <title> Your page title </title>

The meta tags, particularly the <meta name="keywords" tags, used to be used to tell the programs that the search engines send out (otherwise known as search engine spiders or bots), which keywords to index your website for. For example my personal homepage, (first created when I knew nothing about HTML apart from what it was and what it stood for)is called "M Moyne's home page and thus has the meta tag: <meta name="keywords" content="M Moyne">

There is also a meta description tag which used to tell the search engines how to describe the website on their results pages, now I've seen them use the first few lines of text for their description.

The next of the main tags is the body tag, which is written as <body> and </body> respectively. It contains the main part of your HTML code. On my personal homepage it starts off with the code for the background. In this case it is a JPEG image. You can put almost anything in the body section, navigation bars, page banners, tables, images, horizontal lines, hyperlinks and so on. However all of the things that I have just mentioned cannot go anywhere else except the body section.

Let's look at the code for some simple things.

Headings: Heading 1 is <h1> Heading 2 is <h2> Heading 3 is <h3> and so on.

Paragraphs begin with <p> and end with </p>

A 100 * 200 image with a description is: <img src="image1.jpg" width="100" height="200" alt="my image" longdesc="myfirstimage.html">

That's enough for a simple web page.

M Moyne knows quite a bit about Microsoft FrontPage, which he has used to create both and , and he also knows a bit about Macromedia Flash. Unfortunately you can't import Flash documents into FrontPage. He also has a blog, which is on his personal homepage, that's the first link given above.

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