How do I start with HTML

What is this actually about?

What you have on your screen right now is quite extensive documentation, which is about how to create pages for the World Wide Web on the Internet or for a company-internal intranet. Creating such sites is not rocket science that only a few computer geeks can do. If you have a little good will and desire, you can certainly learn the "craft". You can start small and try out a little. Then, as you enjoy it, you can gradually learn more.

From this page you can take guided "tours" through this documentation. The tours aim to make it easier for you to get started. A two-part display window appears on all tours. On the left you can select links that belong to the tour. Pages are then displayed on the right which you can call up by clicking on the links in the left window. These are normal pages that belong to this documentation and which you can also reach normally via the SELFHTML start page.

If you have never visited or used SELFHTML before, you should first familiarize yourself with the "general conditions" of this documentation. Don't worry, these are only two sides. To do this, call up the following tour 1:


What do I need to know first?

SELFHTML is not an introduction to using your computer. There is also no basic knowledge. For example, you should know what a file is and what a folder / directory is, and that there are very different types of files. You should have worked with different programs before, know one or more of them a little better and know that there are different programs for different tasks.

The web browser you are using to read this is also a program on your computer or your local network. Data that is displayed in the browser's display window are files that are stored somewhere. The storage location can be on a remote computer on the Internet, on the intranet of your company or organization, on a CD-ROM that has just been inserted or on the hard drive of your computer.

To understand SELFHTML, it is an advantage if you have "surfed" the Internet several times. The advantage is that you have already seen various websites and have more possibilities for comparison and suggestions for your own ideas. SELFHTML is aimed at people who want to publish their own pages on the web or on the company intranet. "Internet pages", "WWW pages", "web pages" etc. are, by the way, different expressions for the same thing - they are simply certain data formats that a web browser can display in its display window.

Before you really get down to business, you should get into the mood a little. I mean, you should first get an overview of the environment. To get an overview of the Internet and the World Wide Web, take tour 2 below:

Next, you need to know what technologies are used in creating web pages, and what their specifics and differences are. Take Tour 3 below to get an overview of key technologies that play a role in creating websites.

Before you start creating your own websites, you will have a few questions about the software required or questions about how the pages you create get onto the web. To do this, call up tour 4 below.


In what order should I study?

There are always several paths, and above all, learning is often something individual. This is just a suggestion of one way to get started in HTML. To do this, you need to know how to switch between multiple open applications on your computer. Because you will often switch back and forth between the editor and two open browser windows.

You can now call up your HTML editor to take your first steps in HTML. If you don't already have one, you can also call up a text editor, but if possible no word processing programs. Windows users can, for example, call up the Notepad editor that comes with Windows. In order to be able to work more efficiently, however, you should get a proper HTML editor in the long run.

Leave the browser with this page open here. So you always have help at hand.

Create a new, empty file with the editor and save the file under a file name (or), for example. Then switch back to the display of this page here.

Now open a new browser window. The menu command for this can usually be found in the file menu / file menu of the browser. Open the previously generated and saved HTML file locally in the new browser window. The command to open files locally is usually also in the browser's File menu. If the generated HTML file is still empty, the browser shows an empty display window when this file is opened.

Now you have your working environment: In the opened editor you can create your first HTML file. In the browser window in which you have opened this HTML file, you can always check what you have "committed" in the editor. To check your entries, select the command for saving the HTML file in the editor. Then switch to the browser window in which the HTML file is displayed. To display the changed HTML file, select the Reload command in the browser to update the website displayed.

In between, you should switch to this browser instance here. Because here you will find a description of the HTML elements that you can enter in the editor. The following tour 5 takes you through the most important basics of HTML. A little tip: select the HTML source text examples that will be displayed during the tour with the mouse here in the browser. Copy the selected text into your (HTML) editor via your computer's clipboard.


How do I become a professional?

You will learn the most when you are working on a real project that you actually want to publish on the web. It can be a personal or commercial homepage, a fan project for anyone or anything, a lover project like showing off a collection, introducing your home community, school, club, etc. Think about what content you want to bring like you distribute the content over several pages and how you link the pages so that the user can navigate the project easily.

Learn the rest of the elements from as you work  HTML know. Feel free to follow one of the numerous references within the HTML chapter leading to the chapter about  CSS stylesheets to lead.

The final tour 6 introduces you to a few topics that cover more advanced topics.

The pages that you get to know or have got to know in the course of the six tours are of course not the only ones within on SELFHTML. But you have surely discovered that yourself. Hopefully, after the tours offered here, you will be able to create your own web pages and consult SELFHTML when looking for a solution to a problem. The road to becoming a professional is long and cannot be done in a few hours, not even in a few days. But you've got yourself into an area where you can learn new things every day. I wish you success!

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