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Computer Language for Beginners - HTML

Computer Language for Beginners: HTML

If you like browsing around on the Internet, you might have wondered how all of those websites were created. People who have websites have used HTML to design how the Web pages look. HTML stands for "hypertext markup language," and it's the special language that tells a computer how to display the different parts that make up a website. A program called a Web browser reads HTML documents and translates the code into what you see on your screen. HTML has changed a lot since it was first created in the early 1990s, and people have made tools that will let you design a simple website without using code. But learning HTML coding is still a good idea for anyone who wants to learn about Web design and how to make websites.

Tags, Attributes, and Elements

HTML is made up of tags, attributes, and elements. HTML tags mark the starting point and ending point of HTML elements. Opening tags include an opening bracket, the name of the element, possibly a space that separates attributes, and a closing bracket. Closing tags mirror the opening tags, except they have a forward slash after the opening bracket and go at the end of the text. This tells the browser that the tag that opened the element is now closed and ended. HTML attributes define the properties of an element. HTML elements include an opening tag, the content between the tags, and a closing tag.

Adding Content

When you are ready to create a Web page with HTML, you will place the text between the HTML tags. For example, if you are writing a paragraph to describe a dog, you would start with an opening tag with a "p" surrounded with opening and closing brackets. Then, you would type out what you want to say to describe the dog. At the end of the paragraph, you would type "/p" surrounded by opening and closing brackets. You can also make headings, larger lines of text that are often used to separate sections of a page. Heading tags can create text in a range of sizes, with "H1" being the largest and "H6" being the smallest.
Sometimes, you might want to add extra instructions to your tags. When this is the case, you would use attributes in the opening tags. Tags can have one or more attributes with multiple values. If you have multiple values, you would separate them with spaces. If you want to add images, you can do this with tags, too. You can even make an image clickable by nesting the tag to show an image inside the code to make a link. HTML also allows you to create lists and tables on Web pages, which can make it easier for people to read and understand your website.

Closing an HTML Document

Most HTML tags need a closing tag, so it's important to make it a habit to close your tags. Closing tags are necessary when you're setting the text style, such as making bold, underlined, or italic text. When HTML includes closing tags, the browser knows to stop using whatever text style or element style you had set. Even if an element doesn't require a closing tag, it's best to get into the habit of always adding a closing tag for every opening tag.

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