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June 8, 2023

What is HTML?

HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is a modern standard markup language that uses common abbreviations called “tags” to indicate to the web browser how the author would like to have sections of a web page laid out.

HTML web pages are merely plain text files that have been saved with a “.htm” or “.html” file extension, such as index.html.

The skeletal structure of an HTML document has three parts:

  • Document type declaration – declaring precisely which version of HTML is used to mark up the document.
  • Head section – providing descriptive data about the document itself, such as the document’s title and the character set used.
  • Body section – containing the content that is to appear when the document gets loaded into a web browser.

Document type declaration

The document type declaration must appear at the start of the first line of every HTML document to ensure the web browser will “render” (display) the document in “Standards Mode” – following the HTML specifications. The document type declaration tag for all HTML documents looks like this:

<!DOCTYPE HTML>

Head section

The document’s head section begins with an HTML opening <head> tag and ends with a corresponding closing </head> tag. Data describing the document can be added later between these two tags to complete the HTML document’s head section.

Body section

The document’s body section begins with an HTML opening <body> tag and ends with a corresponding closing </body> tag. Data content to appear in the browser can be added later between these two tags to complete the HTML document’s body section.

Code comments

Comments can be added at any point within both the head and body sections between a pair of <!– and –> tags. Anything that appears between the comment tags is ignored by the browser.

Fundamental structure

So, the markup tags that create the fundamental structure of every HTML document look like this:

<!DOCTYPE HTML>

<html>

<head>

<!– Data describing the document to be added here. –>

</head>

<body>

<!– Content to appear in the browser to be added here. –>

</body>

</html>

 

Learn more about HTML and how to use it with HTML in easy steps, 9th edition – the easy way to learn HTML, so that you can create compelling web pages in the latest browsers. Available in ebook and paperback formats from our online shop.

£6.99 (+ VAT/tax where applicable) ebook
£11.99 paperback

192 pages
By: Mike McGrath
ISBN: 9781840788761

View first chapter and Table of Contents – FREE!

 

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HTML, CSS & JavaScript in easy steps

£14.99 (+ VAT/tax where applicable) ebook
£19.99 paperback

480 pages
By: Mike McGrath
ISBN: 9781840788785

 

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