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Introduction – Step by Step HTML course

Welcome to my free online Step by Step HTML course. First, let me explain some of the basics.

Last update: February 15, 2019

What does HTML stand for? What does it do?

HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. With HTML, you either define the location of photos and text on a web page (old way of using HTML) or you define sections of a web page (the way you use HTML combined with other languages, like CSS). The codes are all short for English terms.

Oh, and BTW, a heads up -> don’t make the mistake of calling HTML a programming language. Because, officially, it’s not. It’s a markup language.

What does HTML look like?

HTML codes are called tags or elements. They are easy to recognize. They’re always surrounded by a “smaller than” and “greater than” character. Surf to any website of your choice, click the right mouse button and go to “View Source” (or press control+U when using Chrome). A new window opens with a lot of codes. Anything that’s written <like this> is HTML.


Oh wow! Talk about ancient history. The extension .htm was used a long, long time ago in the Windows 3.x era. Those Windows versions could only read this type. Nowadays, everyone uses the .html extension.

Are there different versions of HTML?

Yes. Over the years, HTML has been further developed. There are many versions and even a few spin offs. This course teaches you the basics of all HTML versions. Most functions in this course have survived the test of time. This will benefit you, still, when you want to pursue webdesign, web development and even in editing online content.

Nevertheless, a lot of cool stuff has been added and changed in HTML 5, so I wrote a separate course for that. I’ll advise you to follow that, after you tried this one. Basic HTML skills are required for that course.

Do you need software to program HTML?

Any kind of coding software makes it easier to program in HTML. It will color your HTML tags and automatically close tags when you open them. That will decrease your chances to make mistakes. Furthermore, a lot of software allows you to work in your HTML document like you’re working in a word processor. You don’t even need to code! Some of these programs, as well as providers such as Wix, offer a WYSIWYG-editor. It stands for What You See Is What You Get. As the webdesigner you’re becoming, you’ll be critical about the HTML is produces, but it helps a lot of people create websites they are happy with.

However, all of the above is not needed to create HTML files!

To teach you HTML, you’ll be working with the default Windows Notepad that your Windows PC contains for free.
– Just go to Start
– Accessories
– Notepad

How do you publish HTML files?

Well, you are a little quick asking this. We have to create the files first, but usually, you use FTP software (learn more about this). However, a lot of hosts (like myself) also offer online file managers. You can then upload and edit files using your browser.

How do you structure a website?

Websites can become really big. A good website structure is really important to keep your sanity as a designer / developer. I’m not just talking about the navigation structure on the front end (the menu of your website for visitors to use as navigation), but the site structure in the back end. This is on the server.

A website is shaped by a few things.

  1. Content (text and assets, like photos and, perhaps, videos)
  2. Design
  3. Functionality

You usually make directories for each seperately, so you create a sub directory for images, one for videos, one for css files or php functions. It makes it easier to find things, later.

Ok, enough questions. Get started with Step 1