Whether you are a novice, hoping to delve into the world of web design or an experienced webmaster keen to improve your skills, we’ve got online tutorials tailored to your web design needs.

In a rush? Go straight to our tutorial and start learning HTML now!

Our absolute beginner tutorial will turn you from wannabe to webmaster in just a few hours. Unlike many other HTML tutorials, it's a step-by-step guide – not a boring long-winded reference.

Our step-by-step guide teaches you the basics of HTML and how to build your first website. That means how to layout an HTML page, how to add text and images, how to add headings and text formatting, and how to use tables.

We'll get you building your new website in minutes, not hours.

HTML for Absolute Beginners

While many guides on the internet attempt to teach HTML using a lot of mind-boggling theory, this tutorial will instead focus on giving you the practical skills to build your first site.

The aim is to show you ‘how’ to create your first web page without spending the entire tutorial focusing too much on the “why.”

By the end of this tutorial, you will have the know-how to create a basic website and we hope that this will inspire you to delve further into the world of HTML using our follow-on guides.

What is HTML?

Okay, so this is the only bit of mandatory theory. In order to begin to write HTML, it helps if you know what you are writing.

HTML is the language in which most websites are written. HTML is used to create pages and make them functional.

The code used to make them visually appealing is known as CSS and we shall focus on this in a later tutorial. For now, we will focus on teaching you how to build rather than design.

The History of HTML

HTML was first created by Tim Berners-Lee, Robert Cailliau, and others starting in 1989. It stands for Hyper Text Markup Language.

Hypertext means that the document contains links that allow the reader to jump to other places in the document or to another document altogether. The latest version is known as HTML5.

A Markup Language is a way that computers speak to each other to control how text is processed and presented. To do this HTML uses two things: tags and attributes.

What are Tags and Attributes?

Tags and attributes are the basis of HTML.

They work together but perform different functions – it is worth investing 2 minutes in differentiating the two.

What Are HTML Tags?

Tags are used to mark up the start of an HTML element and they are usually enclosed in angle brackets. An example of a tag is: <h1>.

Most tags must be opened <h1> and closed </h1> in order to function.

What are HTML Attributes?

Attributes contain additional pieces of information. Attributes take the form of an opening tag and additional info is placed inside.

An example of an attribute is:

<img src="http://jw778.com/mydog.jpg" alt="A photo of my dog.">

In this instance, the image source (src) and the alt text (alt) are attributes of the <img> tag.

Golden Rules To Remember

  1. The vast majority of tags must be opened (<tag>) and closed (</tag>) with the element information such as a title or text resting between the tags.
  2. When using multiple tags, the tags must be closed in the order in which they were opened. For example:

    <strong><em>This is really important!</em></strong>

HTML Editors

Now that we’ve gotten the basic theory out of the way. It’s time to learn how to build our first website.

First off, we must ensure that we have the right tools. Most important, we need an HTML editor.

There are many choices on the market. Here are a handful of the most popular:

Sublime Text 3

However, for this tutorial, we will use the Sublime Text 3 as it is free and also offers cross-platform support for Windows, Mac, and Linux users.

Sublime Text 3
Sublime Text 3 has a mini-preview window on the right.

Pros

  • Easily customizable
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Pleasant color schemes to choose from.
  • Cons

  • Can't print documents or code
  • No toolbar or dashboard available.
  • Notepad ++

    Another common choice for HTML and other language coders is Notepad ++. It is a tiny program to download and perform the functions you need for writing clean code.

    HTML Notepad ++
    This is Notepad ++. Far from glamorous but does the job.

    Pros

  • Distraction-free interface
  • Auto-completion feature
  • Plugin options for extended functionalities.
  • Cons

  • Can be difficult to get used to for beginners
  • No support for Mac.
  • Komodo Edit

    Komodo Edit is one of two editors released by the same label. They offer a simple, open-source editor with a variety of extensions and language support.

    It is free to download.

    Komodo Editor
    Komodo isn't one for a flash interface either but is simple to use.

    Pros

  • Easy-to-grasp coding interface
  • Available for Mac, Windows, and Linux
  • Impressive language support.
  • Cons

  • No autocompletion by default
  • Visual settings are difficult to find and change.
  • What To Avoid

    Your code's front-end view varies from browser to browser – you will learn more about this with advanced CSS.

    Do not use Microsoft Word or any other word processor when writing HTML code, only an HTML editor or at the very least, your machine’s built-in notepad, is suitable for the task.

    Secondly, ensure that you’ve installed a number of different browsers such as Chrome and Firefox in order to preview your upcoming creation.

    Creating Your First HTML Webpage

    First off, you need to open your HTML editor, where you will find a clean white page on which to write your code.

    From there you need to layout your page with the following tags.

    Basic Construction of an HTML Page

    These tags should be placed underneath each other at the top of every HTML page that you create.

    <!DOCTYPE html> — This tag specifies the language you will write on the page. In this case, the language is HTML 5.

    <html> — This tag signals that from here on we are going to write in HTML code.

    <head> — This is where all the metadata for the page goes — stuff mostly meant for search engines and other computer programs.

    <body> — This is where the content of the page goes.

    HTML Structure
    This is how your average HTML page is structured visually.

    Further Tags

    Inside the <head> tag, there is one tag that is always included: <title>, but there are others that are just as important:

    <title>
    This is where we insert the page name as it will appear at the top of the browser window or tab.
    <meta>
    This is where information about the document is stored: character encoding, name (page context), description.

    Let's try out a basic <head> section:

    <head>
    <title>My First Webpage</title>
    <meta charset="UTF-8">
    <meta name="description" content="This field contains information about your page. It is usually around two sentences long.">.
    <meta name="author" content="Conor Sheils">
    </header>

    Adding Content

    Next, we will make <body> tag.

    The HTML <body> is where we add the content which is designed for viewing by human eyes.

    This includes text, images, tables, forms and everything else that we see on the internet each day.

    How to Add HTML Headings To Your Web Page

    In HTML, headings are written in the following elements:

  • <h1>
  • <h2>
  • <h3>
  • <h4>
  • <h5>
  • <h6>