by: Stefan Mischook of www.killersites.com
Making websites doesn’t require much at all. A text editor,
like notepad, and a browser to test your code, and you're ready
to go - if you know HTML.
If you don’t already know, HTML is what makes web pages.
It is what is called a markup language, and what HTML does, basically,
is tell the web browser (like Internet Explorer or Netscape) how
and what to display on the page.
any language, HTML has rules and words that have a meaning. In
this case, the meanings of those words are related to displaying
web pages. These ‘words’ are called ‘tags’
or ‘HTML tags’, so when building HTML pages you are
actually just typing out a series of HTML tags with text and images
(among other things) stuck in-between.
Example: This is an HTML tag that tells the browser to make text
<b> This text will be bold. </b>
The ‘b’ in-between the angled brackets ‘<>’
stands for ‘bold’. This tag tells the web browser
to make whatever is in-between the <b> and </b> bold.
Most HTML tags come in pairs, where there is always an opening
tag <b> and a closing tag </b>.
There are many tags, doing everything from formatting text (as
we did with the <b></b> tag) to structuring the page
globally. These are the very basics, and I won't go further than
that at this point.
Now you know the magic behind web pages! You now can guess that
all those programs that make web pages (GoLive, Dreamweaver, FrontPage)
are just really writing out a bunch of HTML tags for you. Don’t
get me wrong; I think using HTML editors is a must, but it is
always good to know what these programs are doing ‘behind
How to view your page
Once you have written all your tags on the page, and inserted
the text and the links to images you want to display, all you
need to do is change your actual file to have a file extension
of HTML or HTM. Every computer file has a file extension (mostly)
so for example Notepad produces a file with the extension of ‘txt’.
You might have a file called ‘myGroceries.txt’, if
you typed out your grocery list in Notepad. If you typed your
web page in Notepad, all you have to do to let browsers know that
your file contains HTML is to change it from ‘.txt’
to ‘.HTML’ or ‘.HTM’. When a browser is
directed to open up a document that has an HTML or HTM extension,
it knows that this is an HTML page and it reads your tags to display
the page as you intended. That is basically what is going on when
you are surfing on the web.