Home : Basic HTML/CSS tutorial : Basic HTML : Introduction
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Boilerplate HTML


This lesson covers the absolute basics of HTML. After completing it, you should be able to create a basic, linear web page, with a heading and some text.

What is HTML?

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is a relatively simple document markup language. It is not a programming language. An HTML file, usually representing a single page on the Web, simply contains the text content of that page, and a few special markers that indicate different types of text such as headings.

HTML files are plain text

HTML files are written in plain text, which means they contain only letters, numbers, and some symbols (e.g. = ! + % ^). There is no inherent formatting in the plain-text format. A Web browser reads this plain-text and detects special symbols and text which affect the display, so that the final result can contain formatting.

You can view the original plain text with a simple text editor like Windows Notepad. This is how you'll see the HTML "code" as you create it. When you're learning to create Web sites it is best to work directly with the code, to make sure you fully understand how everything works. Once you become experienced, you may decide that a good visual editor (i.e. not FrontPage), which will allow you to work directly with the formatted output, could save time - but you'll still need the understanding you achieved from working with the raw HTML.