Only joking, this is for boys and girls! (Apart from Tip Number 3). Learning HTML is important for the modern entrepreneur, freelance content writer, blogger, and traditional office worker.
If you are a writer who can play around with HTML, it will open doors to communications or marketing jobs requiring that little bit more technical skill. If you are an entrepreneur or freelancer, it can give you the boost you need to build your own website to represent your professional brand or identity.
Here’s a breakdown of the information you need to understand to start learning to build websites in HTML, from how websites are structured to good resources you can use – and all completely for free.
- Simple static (non-interactive) websites are structured using a set of .html files saved within a single computer folder that represent the container for your website. This is what you will upload to a web hosting service such as Bluehost so people will be able to access your site on the web. You’re buying a bit of space on their servers when you do this. Initially, you will be creating these files on your desktop for uploading later.
- Go on CodeAcademy and complete their HTML beginner’s course. You need to devote a significant number of hours to doing this but can be done in your own time, when you have a spare evening or even a lunchtime during work.
- Apply for a Code First: Girls HTML/CSS beginner’s course – freely available to professional women under 25, current students at participating universities, and soon expanding to any women who wants to learn code! The courses are 6 weeks long, one night a week with course homework and website project.
- Practise playing around with code in some online code viewers such as Code Beautify, which actually cleans up your code for you and helps you to display a webpage, helpful for total newbies.
- Download a good HTML editor such as SublimeText, which you can get for free and functions in a similar-ish way to Adobe’s DreamWeaver – it basically has settings which make it easier to read and write code.
- Download a basic HTML website template for free and play around with it. Take a look at how the code works and practice changing things.
- While editing files on your desktop in SublimeText, you can view the files in the browser by right-clicking and opening with, say, Google Chrome. You should be able to view the page you have created as though it is online.
- Learn how the web works – coding languages are regulated by certain bodies to enable developers to work together coherently, and in the case of HTML and CSS it is W3… On W3 Schools you will find all the essential information you need to reference when learning HTML and CSS.
- Gain a basic understanding of CSS, which stands for Cascading Style Sheets, as it will need to be attached to your HTML files to create a website that actually looks nice.
- Familiarise yourself with Bootstrap so you can have excellent styling on your website without learning lots of CSS code – essential for the modern web. Those flat, blocky websites of the nineties are over. All you need to do to use Bootstrap is understand the way that a website is structured, and basic HTML/CSS.
I hope these tips are helpful to you. Please let me know how you get on in the comments, or how these tips can be improved. Happy coding!
Image: Simon Hattinga Verschure, Unsplash