How to write HTML

Introduction

These pages are for my wife and my dad, who’ve both wanted to know how to publish on the internet but haven’t really known where to start.

A web page is a fairly simple sort of thing. It’s just a blob of text with some instructions for how to display it. While I’m sure many computer scientists would love to challenge my definition, it should serve you fairly well as a beginning — and as a not-so-beginning — web page writer.

The basis of a web page is a HTML file. This HTML file can get generated in all sorts of simple and complex ways, and the simplest is by you typing into a text editor. On Windows I’d recommend Notepad2, and on Linux, KEdit and gedit both do a fine job.

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language, but don’t worry about the “Language” bit. What’s important is that you take the plain, ordinary words that appear on the web page, and mark them up with some information, for instance, “this is a heading”. To get pictures into your page, you just need to add some markup to say “put a picture in here”. If you want to change the fonts and colours, you use CSS, which is a way of telling the web browser how each type of mark-up should be displayed.

With just HTML, pictures and CSS, you can build a website like this one. So jump in and start learning!