Let’s be real. For most of us, coding a website is a scary, difficult task. Regardless of how much brand recognition you have or compelling your content is, having a general understanding of HTML is key to executing a successful online marketing campaign and attracting new visitors through the search engines. Whether you need to realign a photo, install analytics or are just sick of turning to your web developer for every minor edit, becoming familiar with HTML coding is a smart move for every brand or small business owner. Contrary to popular belief, HTML coding isn't rocket science, but does require a basic, fundamental understanding of how it works, how it is implemented and what the terminology means. That's exactly what you'll find in this guide.
The HTML Code Basics: Getting Started
Before we get into the important tags you need to know, here is some general terminology and code structure. Learning this first is essential as it will help you understand how HTML code is read and how to implement tags on your own site.
Opening & Closing Tags
In any piece of code, there will always be an opening and closing tag. The opening tag starts off the sequence with a left angle bracket (<), a character (or two) signifying what the tag is supposed to do, and a right angle bracket (>). A closing tag ends the sequence in the same manner—it looks just like the opening tag, but is recognized as a closing tag thanks to the forward slash before the character.
Including The Object You Want To Modify
Think of opening and closing tags like a container for content. The opening and closing signifiers must always surround the elements that you want the code to apply to. Anything in between these tags will follow the rules set forth by the HTML code in the opening and closing sections. It's absolutely vital to understand what opening and closing brackets are and how to place elements in between them when you first start to understand code. In addition to giving you you a reference point for what’s happening in the code, copying and inserting tags quickly will be a breeze since you know where tags start and stop.
Basic Page Structure Coding
The HTML code on the right is how any given webpage is laid out on the "backend." These tags indicate where certain sections and elements of a website or page are meant to be displayed. Again, every HTML set has an opening and a closing tag, with the text in between signifying the content in in which the code is applying to. Learning to code takes time and practice, but don't worry if you feel overwhelmed. To help you get started, we've prepared this HTML Handbook For Beginners to help you every step of the way. Feel free to refer to the this guide for commonly used HTML tags that you'll want to save, copy and paste later on!