Ultimate Guide to Master HTML - How to Build One?

Published on:
June 8, 2023

Fundamentally, HTML is a basic computer language used to create websites. Therefore, it becomes a must-have skill when developers decide to pursue a career in web development. However, it also has advantages in other industries, such as digital marketing.

It's easy to write and use HTML once you get the hang of it. Yet, if you've never used it, it could seem like one of the biggest online mysteries. So, to simplify it, we have developed the easiest HTML guide for everyone - whether you are a newbie or a seasoned developer. So, let’s get started with HTML.

What is HTML?

Hypertext Markup Language, or HTML, is a computer language for webpages. HTML outlines how an internet browser should display a page. Developed by Tim Berners-Lee, a physicist, in the late 1990s, HTML used today results from constant revision and updates.

HTML comprises the same words and phrases web designers use to build web pages. For example, hypertext contains links that readers may click to get to a different page or section of the same page.  On the contrary, it describes a page's parts, like headers and footers, and additional components. 

But HTML is not limited. As Feng Zhang said, "If someone had protected the HTML language for making Web pages, then we wouldn't have the World Wide Web."

So, where is HTML used? In several applications, such as -

Website development - developers use HTML code to monitor the media files, hyperlinks & display text of browsers. 

Navigating the Internet - HTML can have hyperlinks, making it simple for users to navigate & include bridges between desired pages & websites. 

Web documentation - Similar to Microsoft Word, HTML enables the organization and formatting of documents. That sums up what HTML is. But what about its components? Let’s take a look. 

What makes up an HTML document? 

The main components that make up the HTML document are tags and elements. They specify how your material should be displayed in your browser. The tags are denoted with "<>," which marks the beginning and end of the tags. On the other hand, element contents are the letters between them.

The basic structure of an HTML page is as follows -

Document Type Declaration (DTD)

At the very top or the beginning of an HTML document, the <!DOCTYPE html> is written. It informs the browser of the HTML version used to create the page.

HTML Root Element 

The "main container" that houses all the other components is the <html> tag, which is written beneath the DTD. It can specify the HTML document's language. For example, the phrase <html lang="en-US"> indicates that the page has been created using American English. 


The metadata for the page is found in the <head>, which is written between the <html> and <body> tags. They consist of the following: 

  • <title> or main topic of the webpage - Although distinct from the heading tag, it should still match the heading in the body. 
  • <style> tag - It specifies how elements should appear in the browser. For example, it covers the body's background color, text alignment, and headline color.
  • <link> - The resources (such as another website or external style sheet) linked to the HTML page are indicated using the <link> tag. 
  • <meta> - The author, page description, and keywords are included in the meta tag.
  • <base> - It refers to the default URL  of the webpage. 


The page's main body or <body> is where the content is located and where the browser shows it to the user. It can consist of the following:

  • The header includes the website name, the logo, the primary navigation & the search box.
  • The main content includes the article's headline or title, text, author, posting date, and other information.
  • Widgets and supplementary navigation, such as category & date-based archives, are displayed in the sidebars.
  • Lastly, the footer includes contact information, social media connections, copyright, and secondary navigation.

It is what a basic HTML document looks like. We have covered the basic components of HTML. Now let’s take a look at these components in detail.

Understanding HTML Tags:

Takayoshi Y. ( Lifelong Learner, Intro to Programming Student, Udacity) once said, “I learned the fundamentals for programming, which is just what I needed as a first step for my career change!”

And the foundation of programming is HTML, specifically HTML tags. An HTML tag, a markup language component, indicates the start and end of an HTML element in an HTML document.

HTML tags aid web browsers in turning HTML texts into web pages. For instance, developers use the <p> tag to organize text information into paragraphs. To incorporate image components, the <img> tag is used.

Most tags, but not all, wrap around the content they are intended to change using an opening tag and a closing tag. Backslashes indicate closing tags, as in: </tag_name>. However, the browser does not display all these HTML tags.

Although most HTML tags adhere to this open-and-closing structure, some tags can function properly with just an opening tag. These are called singleton tags and include symbols like <br> for line breaks and <img> for image inclusion. These tags don't require a closing tag since the browser can identify them and respond accordingly.

You can use unlimited HTML tags in your code. Here are a few examples.

Heading Tags

Each HTML document has a header, though there can be several variations in size. The headers in HTML are denoted by the letters <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, <h4>, <h5>, and <h6>, with <h6> being the smallest. In addition, each heading has a line of text inserted before and after.

Paragraph Tags

You can insert paragraphs in your text using the <p> tag & the p tag should separate each paragraph of content.

Line Break Tag

The next line starts when you use the <br/> element. This tag doesn't need an opening or closing tag. Thus you can use it to create an empty component.

Each character is followed by a blank space when using the <br/> tag. This gap is necessary for previous browsers to display the line break. However, by missing it, an incorrect XHTML line break is produced.

Horizontal Lines Tags

A document is divided into sections by horizontal lines. Using this tag, you can create a line and break it from the document's current position to the right edge. For example, the <hr/> and the forward slash in <hr/> are separated by space. The horizontal line won't appear correctly in older browsers lacking this space, so employing <hr/> without the forward-slash character is not compliant with XHTML.

Formatting Tags

There are occasions when you want your text to match the HTML perfectly. You can use the preformatted tag or <pre> in these cases. 

We have covered the HTML tags. Now let’s learn more in detail about the HTML attributes. 

HTML Attributes - What are they?

All HTML elements demand tags. However, not all HTML elements demand attributes. For example, text within the opening tag that offers more details about the HTML element is an HTML attribute.

An HTML attribute is also deemed a markup structure that modifies how an HTML code is displayed or performed. For example, it can modify an HTML element's color, size, or functionality.

By putting attributes in an opening HTML tag, you can use them:

<tag_name attribute_name="value"> Content </tag_name>

It consists of the attribute title, equals (=) sign & a worth enclosed in quotation marks. You must remember that value names and values are frequently used to specify values. For instance, the font-size value name might be changed to 40px using the style attribute:

<tag_name style="font-size:40px"> This line will be sized to 40 pixels by the browser </tag_name>

Now, let's look at some important HTML attributes.

href Attribute

To define a hyperlink, you can utilize the <a> tag. The href property in the <a> element indicates the URL of the page the link points to. The anchor text, the clickable text on the page, and the URL (the actual link) comprise the href property.

src Attribute

The <img> element is used to add images to HTML pages. The src element specifies the image path, addressed within the double quotations.

alt Attribute

The <img> element for images uses the alt property. We can define the alternative text if the image cannot be shown on the website. The alt attribute should accurately reflect that information to help readers comprehend the picture.

width & height Attributes

The width and height properties are likewise included in the <image> tag. As their name implies, these characteristics define the image's width and height in pixels.

title Attribute

Additional details about the element are given via the title attribute. When the mouse pointer passes over an element (a link or any text), it recognizes all HTML elements and displays the information.

Besides these, there are other attributes, such as the lang Attribute, autocomplete Attribute, style Attribute, color Attribute, and more.

How Does HTML Work?

Before you start creating HTML documents, you should know how it works. So, how should you begin? First, the website's creator types an HTML document and saves it as filename.html or filename.htm. The World Wide Web is then used to upload this file and display how it appears there. 

But how to open it? You must go to File Explorer, right-click the file (or double-click it if you're using a Mac), and choose "Open with" from the menu to start your favorite browser. This format can be recognized and read by browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari.

You can also open your browser, select your HTML file with a double-click, and then select "open" from the menu by pressing Ctrl+O. The browsers interpret the page's content using the HTML components, which are then neatly formatted and shown on the screen. 

So, you have learned how HTML works. Let’s move to the next part - how to create HTML files! 

Learning HTML - Creating an HTML File:

The first step in using HTML to design a website is to generate an HTML file. This file will be posted to your web server and include all the HTML for your web page. It will ensure that when a visitor looks for your website, the server will deliver the HTML file to the visitor's browser, rendering the page appropriately.

So, how to make an HTML file? Let’s know the steps.

But first, you will need a text editor, like Notepad or TextEdit. Then you can follow the next steps. 

  1. Adding a <!DOCTYPE> Declaration

     You must first specify that the kind of document is an HTML document. Then, on the opening line of the file, insert the unique code <!DOCTYPE html>. It is how      every HTML file begins.

  1. Adding an <html> Element

     After the doctype declaration, you should add the <html> element, also known as the "root" element of the document, since it includes all other components.

     These tags will be followed by the rest of the document's elements.

  1. Adding the Language Attribute

     You will need to include further a lang (language) attribute in the beginning tag of the html element. It makes your website more accessible by assisting screen      readers in identifying the language of the page.

     Without a language property, screen readers will use the operating system's language by default, which can cause the title and other text on the page to be      mispronounced.

     If your website is in French, you’ll have to include this attribute like this:

     <html lang="fr">

  1. Adding the Heading & Body Sections

     The head and the body sections make up an HTML document. The metadata for the page and any internal CSS is found in the head section. This information is not      shown to users by the browser. Everything on the front end, including your paragraphs, photos, and links, is in the body section. 

  1. Adding a Title

     The name of your document should then be entered in the head section. As shown above, you must write a name and enclose it with <title> and </title> tags.

  1. Adding HTML Elements

     Next is to add a heading and paragraph to the body section. The paragraph text should be written out and included in <p></p> tags after the heading material has      been enclosed in <h1></h1> tags.

     If you want it to make it bold, you can just put the text within the <b></b> tags.

     Finally, this is how the document should look.

What you shouldn’t do in HTML?

Beginning writing in HTML may be boggling for some, but it’s quite easy. However, there are some mistakes beginners make that you should avoid. 

  1.  Tags/Element Names

     You should remember that the names of tags and elements are case-insensitive. It indicates that they can be written in lowercase or capital letters. However,      writing everything in lowercase: <title> rather than <TITLE> is advised.

  1.  Closing Tag

     Leaving off a closing tag is a typical rookie mistake. As a result, anytime you make an opening tag, add a closing tag immediately.

  1. Single & Double Quotes

     Writing HTML like this - <img src="https://images.unsplash.com/'> is wrong. In HTML, double quotations and single quotes cannot be combined. Therefore, you      must always use double quotes & if necessary, utilize HTML entities.

HTML5 - The latest HTML version

We have learned about the basics of HTML. Now let’s learn a bit about its newest features.

HTML5 is the most recent version of HTML & a well-known one. It gives developers an advantage over prior versions and some unique features.

  • Audio and Video

HTML5 has two significant additions: audio and video elements. The <audio> tag embeds good material, such as music or other audio streams, in a document. HTML recognizes three audio formats: MP3, WAV, and OGG.

The HTML <video> element displays a video in MP4, WebM, and OGG formats on a web page. Video controls like play, pause, and volume are added through the controls attribute.

  • Vector Graphics

Scripting, most frequently JS, can be used to produce visuals in a variety of forms and colors. Scalable Vector visuals (SVG) is a language for defining 2D visuals and graphical applications in XML, which an SVG viewer subsequently displays.

SVG can be embedded into a web page using the <svg> tag. This element can be used to hold SVG graphics and as a container for SVG.

  • Header and Footer

The HTML <header> element represents introductory information, typically a collection of introductory or navigational assistance.

It can contain certain header components, the author's name & other information

The <footer>tag specifies the location of a footer in a document or section. It often provides author information, copyright information, or links to relevant articles.

  • nav tag

The nav tag denotes the collection of navigation links. The <nav> HTML element establishes a page section that provides navigation links to other documents or inside the current content.

An <nav> element does not have to include all the links in a document.

Only significant navigation link blocks should be included in the element.

HTML Tutorial - Where to Begin Learning?

Mike Davidson, the ex-VP of design at Twitter, once said that “writing old-school HTML code was never very much fun, but now it's getting downright tedious for most people.” But it shouldn’t be for you.

The first step for anyone interested in web development is learning HTML. But where to start? There are many online coding classes accessible. First, however, we have compiled a list of the top three HTML instructional databases:

  1. W3Schools - W3Schools offers free tools, exercises, and examples to help you learn the fundamentals of HTML. Another option is a $95 self-paced HTML course with a valid certificate. 
  1. Codecademy - Free beginner courses are available with interactive instructions at Codecademy. The final result of your coding on an HTML file will be automatically shown using Codecademy's split-screen. For $19.99/month, there is vast and unique stuff accessible to help you learn.
  1. Coursera - Coursera provides a variety of lessons that combine in-depth analysis with practical applications. There is a seven-day free trial before the $49/month membership payment is charged.

Apart from these, free e-books are the best option if you’re just beginning your coding journey because they are meant to teach HTML to novices. However, if you learn best visually, look at LinkedIn Learning’s online lessons.

The Bottom Line:

You can do more with HTML, such as define the styles and colors of various website components and embed photos. HTML is mostly used for static website pages and has much help for beginners. However, HTML works best with JavaScript and CSS if you want more aesthetics and functionality.

So, we have walked you through the basics of HTML & shown you some of the top courses where you can start your HTML journey. Understanding the fundamentals of this markup language will enable you to update your website without depending on a developer, saving you time and money.

Want to leverage simple HTML to make interactive web pages? Or beautiful and functional websites with more complex JavaScript and CSS? MarsDevs can help. 

We offer personalized website development solutions and consider all your demands 

and more. So get in touch with us to see how we can assist you in developing your web presence. 


  1. Can I learn HTML in 2 days?

     It will take you only a short time to begin learning HTML. However, it will likely require one to two weeks to thoroughly comprehend HTML and roughly one month of practice to become competent. Applying your knowledge through working on projects is the key.

  1. How can I learn HTML fast for free?

     Making websites is one of the simplest strategies for learning HTML. Simple tools are all you need to start writing HTML web pages; you only need a text editor and a web browser. Then, you'll experience what it's like to create a website from scratch as you go on to increasingly intricate pages.

  1. Which is easy, CSS or HTML?

     One of the simplest front-end programming languages to learn is HTML. So, if you're interested in learning HTML, go for it! You'll discover how to use this well- known language with time and effort.

  1. Is HTML a good skill?

     It's an important skill to be able to code in any language. The basic building elements of the web, HTML & CSS, are still used to create websites and apps, regardless matter how complicated they may be.

  1. Is HTML coding in demand?

     JavaScript, HTML/CSS, SQL, and Python are the top four languages listed by Stackoverflow for web development. As a result, web developers are in greater demand than ever in the modern world.

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