First Things First: What the Heck is HTML? HTML documents are plain text files that can be created using any text editor. You can also use word processing software if you remember to save your document as "text only with line breaks."
Some Basic TerminologyHTML: Stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. It is the basic "language" that web pages are written in. ANGLE BRACKETS: These two characters < and > appear on your keyboard as [shift key] + comma and [shift key] + period. They are used to set HTML tags off from the rest of the text on the page. All HTML tags are surrounded by these two symbols. TAGS: These are the embedded words and/or symbols that enable us to turn ordinary text into HTML. <HTML> and </HTML>, for example, are the opening and closing tags that indicate a document is written in HTML. SERVER: The server is the computer on which your web pages will reside. FTP: Stands for "File Transfer Protocol," one of the ways to send files from one computer to another on the Internet so that they can be viewed by others on the web. URL: Stands for "Uniform Resource Locator." The "URL" is the "address" of a web page. For example, the "URL" or address of the Buffalo Bison HTML page is http://www.geocities.com/bisonhtml or http://www.geocities.com/bisonhtml and the URL for the Bison Band is http://www.geocities.com/buffaloband. HYPERLINKS/LINKS: These are the HTML coded locations, usually set apart by a different text color and underlining, that lead you to other places on the web or to another spot within a particular page. HOME PAGE: The first page that is seen when you visit a URL or the first/main page of your web pages. UPLOAD: To sent your files from your hard drive to the server or computer on which your web pages will reside. DOWNLOAD: To copy or receive files from another computer to your hard drive. HTML Editors You can learn HTML by using a basic word processing program such as Notepad (Windows) or SimpleText (MAC). Any basic editor will work, the simpler the better. Some WYSIWYG editors are also available. You may wish to try one of them after you learn some of the basics of HTML tagging. WYSIWYG is an acronym for "what you see is what you get." It means that you design your HTML document visually, as if you were using a word processor, instead of writing the markup tags in a plain text file and imagining what the resulting page will look like. It is useful to know enough HTML to code a document before you determine the usefulness of a WYSIWYG editor, in case you want to add HTML features that your editor doesn't support. We will be using Geo Cities Advanced HTML Editor for this class. Advanced HTML Editor You can use this editor to create new html files, and to edit any of the html files you have in your directory. The advanced editor will place the document that you chose to edit in an editing window, you then can edit and view your changes. If you wish to create a new file, just enter it's name. To access the Advanced HTML Editor, just go to the File Manager utility, find Choose Your Editor:, then select Advanced HTML Editor, then select Create New HTML file. If you want to "edit" or change something in a file that already exists; First, select the file from your list of files and then select the Edit button instead of the Create New HTML file button.
The Minimal HTML DocumentEvery HTML document should contain certain standard HTML tags. Each document consists of head and body text. The head contains the title, and the body contains the actual text that is made up of paragraphs, lists, and other elements. Browsers expect specific information because they are programmed according to HTML specifications. Required elements are shown in this sample bare bones document: <HTML> <HEAD> <TITLE>My Future Home Page</TITLE> </HEAD> <BODY> <H1>HTML is Easy To Learn</H1> <P>Welcome to the world of HTML. This is my first paragraph. While short it is still a real paragraph! <P>And this is the second paragraph. </BODY> </HTML> The required elements are the <HTML>, <HEAD>, <TITLE>, and <BODY> tags and their corresponding end tags. Some browsers will format your HTML file correctly even if these tags are not included. But some browsers won't! So make sure to include them.
HTML TagsThe first thing to remember about tags is that almost always travel in pairs. Every time you use a tag , say <Title>, you should also close it off with another tag , in this case, </Title>. Note the slash / before the word Title, that's what distinguishes a closing tag from an opening tag. Below are the sets of tags needed to set up a basic web page. <HTML> <HEAD> <TITLE> </TITLE> </HEAD> <BODY> </BODY> </HTML> Now isn't that easy? These four sets of tags allow you to create a no frills document that is readable by any web browser. Click on the graphic below to go to the next part of lesson one.