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Jul092009

The HTML Basics - Learn What Content Management Systems Don't Teach

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HTML basics

The majority of Content Management System users never take the time to get an introduction to HTML basics. Technology has changed the way the internet is used and Content Management Systems have made it possible for anyone to build a website, blog, or start an internet based work from home business. Their ease of use tends to make us lazy webmasters. Wouldn't you like to learn some of the HTML basics?

Have you ever found a great looking website and asked yourself: “Wow, that's cool how did they do that? The introduction to HTML basics is not rocket science. Its actually a fairly simple and logical format. HTML is written in plain text, it reads left to right, and top to bottom. What makes HTML come to life is what is known as tags. Tags are simple commands that we give words or phrases to create an affect such as: bold, italics, and underline.

Lets suppose you are creating a new page for a website and you want a certain word or phrase to stand out from the rest of the text. All you have to do is put a beginning tag in front of the word or phrase and an ending take after the word or phrase. You see that's not so hard. Now all we need to learn in the introduction to HTML basics is what the tag commands are and how to format the tag.



Formatting A Tag

The formats for all tags or commands are the same. There are no exceptions to the rule. They start with a less-than sign: < and end with a greater-than sign: >. You remember these symbols from algebra class don't you? What goes between the < and > is the tag. What affect do we want to put on the word? Do we want it to be bold, or maybe italicized. So formats are those algebra signs and tags are what we want the word or phrase to look like. I told you this wasn't rocket science. For instance:

The tag for a new paragraph is the letter “p”. Simple enough!

<strong><p>James Rouse</p></strong>

James Rouse

Did you notice how the page jumped to a new paragraph? See the introduction to HTML basics stuff really works once you get the hang of it.

Lets Break it Down

  1. <strong> is the start strong tag.
  2. "James Rouse" is the affected word by the <strong> tag.
  3. </strong> is the end strong tag. It's the same as the beginning tag with a backslash in front of the tag command.
  4. And the final product, Drum roll please: James Rouse



Its An Open And Closed Case – The Tags

In this article the term begin and end has been used for the tags. They are commonly known as open tags (beginning) and closed tags (end). Since this is the introduction to HTML basics it was easier to describe their location using the begin and end terms. Most times tags will require to be opened and closed although there are some cases when an open tag is all that is needed. Below are some examples of typical tags and their affect.

 

Name Code Code Example Result
Strong Strong <strong>Bold</strong> Bold
New Text p <p>Paragraph</p> Page Content
Emphasis em <em>Italic</em> Italic

 

There may be occasions when you want to use two tags on the same word or phrase. This may be getting a little advances for HTML basics but lets take a look at an example and see how to do it.

<strong><em>strong and emphasis</em></strong> and this is what you get: Bold and Italic

Be careful doing this because the tags have to be in the same order. If you mix up the order; the formatting will be wrong. The best method for keeping the order correct is to add your open and close tags simultaneously. In other words if you were to use the example above start by adding the emphasis tags and then the bold tags.

Incorrect:

 

<strong><em>strong and emphasis</strong</em>

 

Correct

<strong><em>strong and emphasis</em></strong>


          

 

Stand Alone Tags

The introduction to HTML basics isn't so hard once you get it figured out. So far we've talked about the open and close tags but there are some instances when a single tag is used without a need for the close tag. The most common ones are in the table below:

 

Command Affect
<HR>

This code stands for horizontal line. It breaks up the page nicely. Some Content Management Systems would refer to these as a divider.

<br> The break tag is used to force a line break.In HTML you need to tell the document when to start a new line of text.


note: I created a horizontal line just above the table to show you how it looks. Generally the line will go from left to right across the page unless you give it a special command. I set the line at 80% like this:

<HR WIDTH=”80%”>

Well, you made it through the introduction to HTML basics. The next time you get ready to write another page with the Content Management System of choice you'll have a better understanding of how all this stuff works. Learn intermediate HTML

I still use a CMS for my websites using Site Build It because these guys really know search engine optimization. I actually became interested in HTML by reading their members only forums. That's where I got my introduction to HTML basics education. Creating web pages that look good and read well is fun. Building a business with all the necessary tools for one low price and getting found on the search results page is priceless!



Success has a simple formula: do your best, and people may like it. Sam Ewing


go to "Brainstorming A Profitable Website Concept" from Introduction To HTML Basics


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