Introduction to HTML

The basic code behind every page on the Internet is called HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language. It is pretty straightforward to learn and all you need is a bit of time and some patience.

Getting Started

I recommend using Notepad2 as a tool to write your HTML. This great little program is free to download and it can colour-code your HTML as you type. A great tip for for writing HTML is to use all small letters throughout (no Capitals) and that you save your work with .html at the end of the file name. Then, go to the folder where you have saved your webpage and double click on the icon. Your webpage will open up in your Internet Browser. After adding more content to your webpage using Notepad2, click Save again and then click Refresh on your Internet browser to see the changes that you made.


At first glance HTML looks puzzling. It comprises a number of different elements which are described by 'tags' that instruct browsers such as Internet Explorer and Firefox how to present information on a web page. These tags are described using the less-than sign, <, and the greater-than sign, >. For example, the Start Tag that is used to create a paragraph element looks like this <p>. At the end of the paragraph, an End Tag is needed. This will be characterised by a forward-slash after the less-than sign. The End Tag of a paragraph must look like this </p>.

Order of HTML Tags

The order of HTML tags is crucial. One tag in the wrong place can have drastic effect. There will be many times when you will need to use a string of tags to create the effect you want. In the following example, numbers are used to demonstrate the order of Start and End Tags:

<1><2><3>Text goes here</3></2></1>

Using HTML tags as another example, in order to create a link to some bold text, you would need to use 3 sets of tags - a paragraph tag, a bold tag and an anchor tag, like this:

<p><b><a>Text goes here</a></b></p>

Essential Tags

Before you write some HTML you need to be aware of some special tags that are required on every web page. First and foremost must be <html> not forgetting the End Tag </html> at the very end. It is important that all content comes between these two tags! Next is the Body Tag like this: <body>, which denotes the body content on the web page. Web content must end with </body> just before </html>.

Divided by a Common Language

Beware! If you normally write in UK English you must be careful because HTML code is written in US English! For example colour is spelled color, centre is spelled center, grey spelled gray, and so on. You will soon get used to the nuances. You are afterall learning a new language!

>> Next - Get Started >>

Summary of HTML Tips so far

Use small letters throughout your HTML code

Save your webpages using the .html file extension.

Refresh your browser to see the changes that you have made.

Ensure HTML tags are in the correct order.

Ensure HTML code is written in US English.

Summary of HTML Tags


Anchor Tag for creating links.


Bold tag.


Designates the body of the web page. Must come after the </html> tag.


Designates the document as a web page.


Paragraph tag.