HTML Introduction

What is HTML?

HTML is the standard markup language for creating Web pages.

  • HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language
  • HTML describes the structure of a Web page
  • HTML consists of a series of elements
  • HTML elements tell the browser how to display the content
  • HTML elements are represented by tags
  • HTML tags label pieces of content such as “heading”, “paragraph”, “table”, and so on
  • Browsers do not display the HTML tags, but use them to render the content of the page

A Simple HTML Document


<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<title>Page Title</title>
</head>
<body>

<h1>My First Heading</h1>
<p>My first paragraph.</p>

</body>
</html>

My First Heading

My first paragraph.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Example Explained

  • The <!DOCTYPE html> declaration defines this document to be HTML5
  • The <html> element is the root element of an HTML page
  • The <head> element contains meta information about the document
  • The <title> element specifies a title for the document
  • The <body> element contains the visible page content
  • The <h1> element defines a large heading
  • The <p> element defines a paragraph

HTML Tags

HTML tags are element names surrounded by angle brackets:

<tagname>content goes here…</tagname>

 
  • HTML tags normally come in pairs like <p> and </p>
  • The first tag in a pair is the start tag, the second tag is the end tag
  • The end tag is written like the start tag, but with a forward slash inserted before the tag name
Tip: The start tag is also called the opening tag, and the end tag the closing tag.

Web Browsers

The purpose of a web browser (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari) is to read HTML documents and display them.

The browser does not display the HTML tags, but uses them to determine how to display the document:

first program
html page structure

The <!DOCTYPE> Declaration

The <!DOCTYPE> declaration represents the document type, and helps browsers to display web pages correctly.

It must only appear once, at the top of the page (before any HTML tags).

The <!DOCTYPE> declaration is not case sensitive.

The <!DOCTYPE> declaration for HTML5 is:

<!DOCTYPE html>

HTML History

Since the early days of the World Wide Web, there have been many versions of HTML:

1989 : Tim Berners-Lee invented www

1991 : Tim Berners-Lee invented HTML

1993 : Dave Raggett drafted HTML+

1995 : HTML Working Group defined HTML 2.0

1997 : W3C Recommendation: HTML 3.2

1999 : W3C Recommendation: HTML 4.01

2000 : W3C Recommendation: XHTML 1.0

2008 : WHATWG HTML5 First Public Draft

2012 : WHATWG HTML5 Living Standard

2014 : W3C Recommendation: HTML5

2016 : W3C Candidate Recommendation: HTML 5.1

2017 : W3C Recommendation: HTML5.1 2nd Edition

2017 : W3C Recommendation: HTML5.2

This tutorial follows the latest HTML 5 standard.