Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) is a basic programming language for building web pages. It uses a set of predefined tags that the web browser then interprets and renders/displays.

Working with HTML

HTML is typically written (or generated) in two ways:

  1. using a plain text editor, eg Notepad, Notepad++, TextPad etc
  2. using a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor, eg Dreamweaver, iWeb, SeaMonkey Composer etc

Plain text editor

An editor like Notepad offers greater control over the code when compared to a WYSIWYG editor because each and every character that forms the HTML and the resulting web page is hand typed. The disadvantage is it’s a slow process.

WYSIWYG editor

The web page is designed, and the content written and styled, using a series of tools. The page can be previewed in the default browser from within the application. This makes building a web page much faster because only a limited knowledge of HTML is needed as it’s automatically generated. However, the code can still be edited by hand.

Web design software on laptop computer screen showing the front end view of a web page and the scripted back end view of a webpage

Different types of browser

Not all browsers render (display) web pages in the same way. Common browsers include:

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

W3C is responsible for standardising HTML and releasing updated specifications that revise existing tags, introduce new tags and identify deprecated tags and should be the first reference point for any matters concerning HTML.

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