What is HTML?

HTML is a language for describing web pages.

  • HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language
  • HTML is not a programming language, it is a markup language
  • A markup language is a set of markup tags
  • HTML uses markup tags to describe web pages

HTML Tags

HTML markup tags are usually called HTML tags

  • HTML tags are keywords surrounded by angle brackets like <html>
  • HTML tags normally come in pairs like <b> and </b>
  • The first tag in a pair is the start tag, the second tag is the end tag
  • Start and end tags are also called opening tags and closing tags

HTML Documents = Web Pages

  • HTML documents describe web pages
  • HTML documents contain HTML tags and plain text
  • HTML documents are also called web pages

The purpose of a web browser (like Internet Explorer or Firefox) is to read HTML documents and display them as web pages. The browser does not display the HTML tags, but uses the tags to interpret the content of the page:

<html>
<body>

<h1> Heading</h1>

<p>Paragraph.</p>

</body>
</html>

Example Explained

  • The text between <html> and </html> describes the web page
  • The text between <body> and </body> is the visible page content
  • The text between <h1> and </h1> is displayed as a heading
  • The text between <p> and </p> is displayed as a paragraph

Editing HTML

However, professional web developers often prefer HTML editors like FrontPage or Dreamweaver, instead of writing plain text.

.HTM or .HTML File Extension?

When you save an HTML file, you can use either the .htm or the .html file extension. With new software it is perfectly safe to use .html.

HTML Attributes

  • HTML elements can have attributes
  • Attributes provide additional information about an element
  • Attributes are always specified in the start tag
  • Attributes come in name/value pairs like: name=”value”

Attribute Example

HTML links are defined with the <a> tag. The link address is specified in the href attribute. Example:

<a href=”http://www.fitrieamelia.com”>This is a link</a>

Always Quote Attribute Values

Attribute values should always be enclosed in quotes. Double style quotes are the most common, but single style quotes are also allowed.

HTML Tip: Use Lowercase Attributes

Attribute names and attribute values are case-insensitive.

HTML Attributes Reference

Below is a list of some attributes that are standard for most HTML elements:

Attribute Value Description
class Classname Specifies a classname for an element
id Id Specifies a unique id for an element
style style_definition Specifies an inline style for an element
title tooltip_text Specifies extra information about an element (displayed as a tool tip)

HTML Uniform Resource Locators

A URL is another word for a web address. A URL can be composed of words, such as “fitrieamelia.com”, or an Internet Protocol (IP) address. Most people enter the name of the website when surfing, because names are easier to remember than numbers.

URL – Uniform Resource Locators

When you click on a link in an HTML page, an underlying <a> tag points to an address on the world wide web. A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is used to address a document (or other data) on the world wide web. A web address, like this: http://www.fitrieamelia.com/html/profile.php

follows these syntax rules: scheme://host.domain:port/path/filename

Explanation:

  • scheme – defines the type of Internet service. The most common type is http
  • host – defines the domain host (the default host for http is www)
  • domain – defines the Internet domain name, like fitrieamelia.com
  • :port – defines the port number at the host (the default port number for http is 80)
  • path – defines a path at the server (If omitted, the document must be stored at the root directory of the web site
  • filename – defines the name of a document/resource

Common websites start with http://. Pages starting with http:// are not encrypted, so all information exchanged between your computer and the Internet can be “seen” by hackers.

Secure websites start with https://. The “s” stands for “secure”. Here, the information exchanged will be encrypted, making it useless to hackers.

Common URL Schemes

The table below lists some common schemes:

Scheme Short for…. Which pages will the scheme be used for…
http HyperText Transfer Protocol Common web pages start with http://. Not encrypted. Unwise to enter personal information in http:// pages
https Secure HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure web pages. All information exchanged are encrypted, cannot be read by hackers
ftp File Transfer Protocol For downloading or uploading files to a website. Useful for domain maintenance
file A file on your computer
gopher A Gopher document or menu
news A newsgroup
WAIS Wide Area Information Search A database or document on a WAIS database

The HTML Style Attribute

The purpose of the style attribute is to provide a common way to style all HTML elements. Style was introduced with HTML 4, as the new and preferred way to style HTML elements. With HTML styles, styles can be added to HTML elements directly by using the style attribute, or indirectly in separate style sheets (CSS files).

Deprecated Tags and Attributes

In HTML 4, several tags and attributes are deprecated. Deprecated means that they will not be supported in future versions of HTML and XHTML. Avoid using deprecated tags and attributes!

These tags and attributes should be avoided:

Tags Description
<center> Defines centered content
<font> and <basefont> Defines HTML fonts
<s> and <strike> Defines strikethrough text
<u> Defines underlined text
Attributes Description
align Defines the alignment of text
bgcolor Defines the background color
color Defines the text color

References:

[1]        Data, Refsnes. HTML. www.w3school.com. 1999-2010.

[2]        www.ask.com. Accessed November 2010.

[3]        www.whatis.com. Accessed November 2010.