HTML and CSS Reference
SO YOU'RE EAGER to start building a website? By the end of this chapter, you will have done just that!
You start by getting your computer primed for building websites. That means you're going to install a text editor and a
lot of web browsers. I take you on a brief tour through some of the most popular text editors, web browsers, and deve-
loper tools so you can decide which ones you want to use.
Once you have your computer set up for building websites, you'll learn about HTML elements and attributes. These
are the basic building blocks that make up web pages.
There are a few things that all good web developers should know. That said, toward the end of this chapter, you will
learn how to validate the HTML code that you have been writing. You will also learn that your websites can some-
times behave differently depending on which browser they are being viewed in.
What is HTML?
Hyper Text Markup Language , or HTML , is the basic code that makes up the foundation of every website on the
World Wide Web. HTML is used for marking up text and other page content, and for defining how a web page is
A web page is made up of lots of content—text, images, even videos. Each of these pieces of content is marked up us-
ing HTML syntax (a collection of words and symbols that can be understood by computer programs). HTML is also
used to describe the structure of the page, defining each of the different sections it may have (such as a header, content
area, and footer).
HTML is used to define the page content and how it is structured, but it is not responsible for how the page actually
looks—the color, borders, and positioning of elements. That is a job for Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS, which you
will look at briefly later in this topic. There is also one other language that is commonly used when building websites.
HTML is always evolving. The latest revision of HTML is HTML5, the subject of this topic. The official specification
for HTML5 outlines a large number of new features that enable web developers to create websites that are faster and
smarter than those they could build using older versions of HTML. These new features include LocalStorage (which
enables developers to store data on the user's computer) and HTML5 Video (that enables video playback in your web
browser without needing a plug-in like Flash) as well as new interactive elements, such as date pickers and sliders.
The term HTML5 has become somewhat of a buzzword in recent years, used by clients, bosses, and developers alike
to describe what is coming next in the journey of web technologies. Although this usage is common, it is not strictly
accurate. HTML5 is just one part of a large number of standards that are collectively referred to as New Exciting Web
Technologies (NEWT). Alongside HTML5, NEWT also encompasses things like WebGL (3D graphics in the