Why You Should Learn HTML

Debra Hamer
 


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Do you have a website or are you planning on creating a website in the near future? You owe it to yourself to at least learn some basic HTML (HyperText Mark-up Language). Even if someone else is creating and maintaining your website there are some basics you should know. What if that person is not available and you need to add or make changes to your website? I’ve always believed if you have a business, computer, website, or whatever, you need to know how it works. Don’t depend on someone else. Besides why pay someone else when you can do it yourself free of charge.

In this article I will explain some basic HTML formats for you. Believe me it will come in handy at one point or another. I, myself, have only learned some of the basics and I have been able to add, change, and make corrections on my own website by myself.

When you come across a website you like and would like to use a similar layout or text pattern, look at the page in HTML code. You can do this by clicking on “View" at the top of the screen, then choose “Document Source" or “Source" and you can see the page as a HTML document. If you are using AOL then right click on any area on the page without any text or images, then select “View Source". At first it will look like Greek to you but after learning some basic HTML it will start to make sense.

First you will need a word processor program such as Windows “Notepad" or any other word processor you might have. You are working with simple text. You will need to save your document using the “save as" command and give it an html suffix, ex: Mynewdocument.html or Mynewdocument.htm (you can use either suffix html or htm).

HTML works in a simple, logical format. It reads top to bottom and left to right. What are used to set sections apart like bigger text, smaller text, bold text, underlined text are tags. Tags are commands. If you wanted a line of text to be bold you will place a tag at the point you want the bold text to start and a tag at the end of where you want the bold text to stop.

All tags start with the less-than sign < and end with the greater-than sign >, always. What is between these signs is the tag or command. You will need to learn what tag does what. Let’s first learn the bold command. The following is an example of making your text bold. The tag for bold is “B". You can use uppercase or lowercase, it doesn’t matter. Here is an example:

Note: Due to the HTML codes in the article being formatted and possibly not showing up on the page in normal view I have replaced the < and > signs with the bracket characters [ and ]. Just remember to use the < and > signs and not the [ and ] signs in your document.

This is how it will look in HTML format - [B]This text needs to be bold[/B]

Here is how it will look when converted to normal view – This text needs to be bold   Did you notice the slight difference in the ending tag? There is a slash / before the B. That means it is the end tag. Only the text between the start and end tags will be in bold. Now let’s add a twist by putting one of the words in italics.

This is how it will look in HTML format - [B] This [I]text[/I] needs to be bold[/B]

Here is how it will look in normal view – This text needs to be bold   There are some tags that are an exception to the rule about having to have a start and end tag. You don’t have to have an end tag when using these tags. Here are some examples.

[HR] this command places a line across the page. HR stands for “horizontal reference".

[BR] this command breaks the text and jumps to the next line, like the return key.

[P] this command stand for “paragraph", it does the same thing as the [BR] command but skips a line.

Every page you create with HTML will need the HTML tag [HTML] which denotes it is an HTML document and the end HTML tag [/HTML] will be at the end of your document. The next tags will be your start Title tag [TITLE] and your end Title tag [/TITLE]. The title of your document will go in between these two tags. The title will show up in the title bar on your browser when you are looking at the page in normal view.

The following are some tags for Headings (there are 6 heading commands) and Font size (there are 12 font size commands):

[H1]This is Heading 1[/H1] – H1 is the largest heading   [H6]This is Heading 6[/H6] - H6 is the smallest heading   So, by using H1 through H6 you can change the size of your heading. Same applies to your font size. You will use [font size ="+1"] through [font size="+12] and don’t forget your end tags!

You may notice that your text always starts at the left of the page. If you want your text to start in the center or to the right you will need to specify where you want your text to start. Here are some examples of aligning text:

[CENTER]Center this Text![/CENTER] - your text will be centered on the page.

Center this Text!

To align to the right you need to set the text as a paragraph unto itself by using the [P] tag and adding an attribute to it.

[P ALIGN="right"]Text here will align on the right of the page[/P]

Text here will align on the right of the page

Why did I put an end tag [/p] since the paragraph command does not require an end tag (remember exceptions to the rule?) Anytime you use an attribute tag, as in the above example, you will need to have an end tag, whether you’re using the paragraph command [P] or the return command [BR]. Using the [P] or [BR] command by itself does not require an end tag, but if you are adding an attribute then an end tag must be used.

Adding an image to your page would require the following tag:

[IMG SRC="image. jpg"] -you would replace “image. jpg" with your own image file. IMG stands for image and SRC stands for source. You’re telling your browser where to find your image file. Your image file could have a gif, jpg, or a bmp association.

Ok now let’s get a little more complicated and create a hyperlink on your document. This creates blue underlined words on the page that someone can click on and go to another location. An example is you’re creating a link to another website.

[A HREF=http://www.profitfromhomebiz.com"]Profit From Home Biz[/A] - this is what in looks like in HTML code. Note you are adding a description of the link that will be underlined, see the example below.

Profit From Home Biz – what it looks like in normal view. When someone clicks on this link they would be taken to my website.

This is a very important HTML format for when you need to add links onto your webpage. You may already know or will learn that reciprocal linking is very important in promoting your website and obtaining a higher page rank with the search engines. Sometimes the HTML code is provided for you and all you have to do is “copy and paste" the code into your webpage. Often it is not, so you have to figure out how to put the information into HTML code yourself. Just learning this HTML command has been a timesaver for me.

I hope this article has helped you learn some basic HTML and how it can benefit you. I know, I know there are HTML text editors out there you can use and they can do all of this for you. I have used a couple myself, but I still like to know how to do things on my own. I bet you do too!  Sometimes it’s just faster and easier to do it yourself.

I’ve just given you some very basic formats in using HTML, but you can find a lot more resources and information about learning HTML on the internet. Just do a search and I’m sure you will be overwhelmed at what’s out there. To view this article with the correct HTML formats please visit www.profitfromhomebiz.com/articles .

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Debra Hamer is the owner of the http://www.profitfromhomebiz.com website where you can find lots of tips, tools and resources for starting your own work at home business. Visit her PlugInProfitSite at http://www.pluginprofitsite.com/main-4256 to have your own website setup and ready to go within 24 hours, complete with everything you need to start making a profit.
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