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  From the January 2016 Issue of Prestwood eMag
Website Design:
Basic Introduction to HTML Authoring
Posted 18 years ago on 8/23/2002 and updated 9/1/2009
Take Away:

This article is a basic introduction to HTML authoring.


This part of the Introduction will introduce the primary functions of HTML, HTML editing, HTML tags and URLs. If you are familiar with HTML, you may want to this article.

HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language)

HTML is the authoring language that is used to create documents on the World Wide Web. HTML defines the structure and the layout of web documents by using a variety of tags and attributes. HTML is defined in the Standard Generalized Markup Language or SGML.

SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language)

SGML is a system for organizing and tagging elements of a web document. SGML is often used to manage large documents that are subject to frequent revisions and printed different formats. However, with the growth of the World Wide Web, SGML is becoming more common.


An HTML tag is a command that is inserted in a document that specifies how the document, or a portion of the document, should be formatted. For example, a font tag is used to format written words or numbers. To close the tag, simply add a slash in the beginning of the tag as follows:

<font>Your text.</font>

Here is an example that turns text red:

<font color="Red">Your text.</font>

Basic HTML (Tags) Document Template


Here is an example of basic HTML code in action:

<title>Prestwood Website</title>

There are hundreds of other tags used to format and layout the information in a Web page. For instance,


is used to make paragraphs and


is used to italicize fonts.

Address = URL - Uniform Resource Locator

A URL describes the location and access method of a resource on the Internet; for example, the URL describes the type of access method being used (http) and the server location which hosts the Web site ( All Web sites have URLs.

Internet browsers use URLs to access resources on the Internet. Resources can be HTML documents, pictures, program tapes, news-articles, a telnet session, etc.

Links = Hyperlinks

Hyperlinks are generally the text or picture that you find on a web site that can be "clicked on." These links will take users to another web page or a different area of the same web page. Hyperlinks are created or "coded" in HTML as follows:

If you choose to link to a web page you will need to create a link in your HTML as follows:

<A href="">Website Label Here</a>

If you choose to insert a picture:

HTML & Internet Browsers

An HTML page should appear the same in every browser. Therefore, each web designer should always verify that the document looks the same in several different browsers. Differences between browsers are starting to become less frequent, but each program can react differently so it is good policy to check the documents carefully.

HTML Editors

HTML documents can be designed in a normal text editor such as Notepad, but this can be a tedious task. HTML editors are available to assist web designers with common tags, shortcuts and generally good HTML language skills. HTML editors are available on the Internet and most have a 30-day trial version or free offer.

Using HTML editors may be easier than writing HTML manually; however, there are advantages to learning the HTML language and using these editors as additional support tools. First, understanding basic HTML language skills can be an invaluable asset when designing web documents. Designers must understand the purpose of the tags and attributes in order to design pages quickly. Second, if a designer chooses to create customized CGI scripts or other programming tasks, it is imperative that HTML is used.


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KB Post Contributed By Mike Prestwood:

Mike Prestwood is a drummer, an author, and creator of the PrestwoodBoards online community. He is the President & CEO of Prestwood IT Solutions. Prestwood IT provides Coding, Website, and Computer Tech services. Mike has authored 6 computer books and over 1,200 articles. As a drummer, he maintains and has authored 3 drum books. If you have a project you wish to discuss with Mike, you can send him a private message through his PrestwoodBoards home page or call him 9AM to 4PM PST at 916-726-5675 x205.

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