BEFORE YOU BEGIN
Just jump right in.
2 Use HTML Tags
Hypertext Markup Language ( HTML ) is the basic language of the Web. Web pages are built using HTML. When you send your browser to a web page, you're actually visiting a page that contains HTML codes. Those codes tell your browser how to display the page, and your browser then shows you a page, based on what the codes tell it to display and how to act.
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) A language that uses a set of codes that tells web browsers how to display pages when they visit a site.
There is an official standard for HTMLa set of rules that define exactly how the language is used and works. The standard is set by a nonprofit organization called the World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C for short.
This site contains the entire official HTML specification for free on the Web. The specification details how every HTML tag and feature works, in exquisite and occasionally mind-numbing detail. As this book went to press, the current standard was version 4.01.
In the ideal world, every site would follow the W3C HTML standard, and every browser would display web pages in precisely the same way. Because we don't live in an ideal world, many sites use nonstandard tags that are designed to work with a specific browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator. For example, the web-authoring program, Microsoft FrontPage, creates many tags that can only be properly viewed in Internet Explorer. And Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator at times display the exact same web page differently, even though that page may use W3C-standard HTML tags.
The lesson here is that whenever possible, use standard HTML when building your website.
One more lesson in all this is that when building your web page, you should view it in both Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. That way, you'll pretty much know how all your visitors will see your site, not just a portion of them. You might also want to test the site using the Opera and Firefox browsers as well.
Although at first HTML may seem difficult to understand, in fact, it's not very difficult to master. After just a few minutes, you'll be able to build your first web page. So let's get started by teaching you the basics: how HTML tags work.