The front-end of the web is based on three major technologies:
- HTML aka “STRUCTURE”: HyperText Markup Language (HTML) defines the structure and semantics of web pages on the web.
- CSS aka “PRESENTATION”: Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) sets the look and style of a web page. CSS provides style to the structure provided by HTML.
HTMLHyperText Markup Language
CSSCascading Style Sheet
CSS PropertyThe name of a display property of an HTML element (e.g., color, border)
HTML ElementA building block that makes up the structure of a web page
HTML TagUsed to create HTML elements. Some elements have an opening and closing tag, others only have an opening tag.
ClassWays to identify HTML elements
AttributeAdditional values that configure HTML elements and adjust their behavior
HyperlinkA reference to an external resource
BlockA block-level element occupies the entire width of its parent element (container), thereby creating a “block.”
InlineAn inline-level element only occupies the space bounded by the tags defining the element, instead of breaking the flow of the content.
What is HTML?
- HTML = HyperText Markup Language
- HTML is used to create electronic documents (pages) that are displayed on the Web
- Each page contains a series of connections to other pages called hyperlinks
- HTML ensures the proper formatting of content (text, images, video) so that your internet browser can display them as intended
- HTML is made up of many Elements
- Elements are used to hold our content and define how the browser must format and display the content.
- Elements are created with either one or two tags.
- Tags are created with angle brackets
<>and are used to create elements
- Markup = the set of tags to structure a page
Anatomy of a Tag
Elements are created with one or more tags. They are used to describe and hold our content.
Elements which are created with only one tag are called empty elements and cannot have any child elements. Examples of this are
Elements which can contain child elements are created with an opening and closing tag which sorround the child elements and/or text content.
Let’s say that we had some text and we wanted to denote that this text was a paragraph.
This is an example paragraph. We should probably place this inside of a tag. If we place it in a tag it will be easier to access and style.
We’d wrap the text in paragraph tags.
<p>This is an example paragraph. We should probably place this inside of a tag. If we place it in a tag it will be easier to access and style.</p>
<p> to signal to the browser that everything that’s about to follow is part of a paragraph and
</p> to let the browser know that this paragraph is done. When a user visits our application, the browser loads up the HTML and parses it into the elements that will eventually make up our user interface.
Here is an example of a slightly more robust document:
Setup for Today
Let’s head over to codepen.io for a quick tour + account setup.
Containing Elements, Semantics & Text
Let’s experiment with the following tags in codepen:
h1 - h6
Use these tags to create the structure of the newspaper. Do not worry about recreating exactly, the goal is just to create the structure.
Images and Attributes
We use HTML tags to mark up text to show its semantic meaning. The browser uses these tags to structure the document. Most tags have an opening and closing tag, but a few do not. Images—defined using the
<img> tag do not have a closing tag for instance.
Note: Elements which do not have closing tags and cannot have child elements are called empty elements.
Consider the following:
Our browser is more than happy to load up an image, but we need to tell it where that image is located. Our
<img> tag needs extra information to know which image to display. That’s where the
src attribute comes in.
Let’s update our page with the image above.
Another important tag is the
<a> tag. These are the tags we use for creating hyperlinks. Consider the following example:
<p> Welcome to the <a href="http://turing.io">Turing School of Software and Design</a>. </p>
In this case, the
<a> tag needs to know which url it should be linked to. We use the
href attribute to set the links destination.
href is an abbreviation for “hypertext reference.”
Block and Inline Elements
You might have noticed that the
<a> tag behaves a little differently than the
<p> tags. We can use the
<a> tag to mark up a few words, while the other tags denote a big section—let’s call it a “block”—of our page.
This is an important distinction:
- Block elements stack on top of each other. Each one starts and ends on its own line.
- Inline elements can be used to mark up a few words inside of a block element.
Some other inline tags you might see in the wild:
<em>is used to denote that you’d like to emphasize some text.
<strong>is used to denote that this text is important.
<strong> to denote the semantic meaning of the content.
You may notice that the
<em> tags are italicized and the
<strong> tags are displayed in bold. The browser does this by default. That said, you should still only use these tags to convey meaning. We can change the way stuff looks later with CSS.
All of the tags we discussed above have some kind of semantic meaning. Assistive technology devices will use them to help people with visual impairments understand the page. Search engines will use them to figure out the structure of your page. You should use semantic HTML tags whenever possible and appropriate.
I like to think of
<div> as the flavorless Jello of HTML tags, they don’t have any meaning in and of themselves and they typically don’t come with any built-in styling from the browser.
There is just one important difference between the two.
<div>is a block element.
<span>is an inline element.
We’ll discuss these more in a bit when we talk about CSS. But, for now, let’s move on to forms.
Forms: Inputs and Buttons
So far, we’ve done an excellent job of displaying information to the user, but we haven’t really asked them for their input. HTML also includes a set of elements for building forms.
There is a lot to forms that we’ll go into depth later, but for now just blissfully ignore.
Instead we’ll focus on two elements:
<input>creates an input field.
<img>in that it does not require or support a closing tag. It can take an optional
typeattribute that helps validate user input in some browsers.
<button>creates a button.
<button>on the other hand does support a closing tag.
Required Structure of any HTML Page
<!doctype html>declaration: The doctype declaration is not an HTML tag, but rather tells the browser which version of HTML the page is written in.
<html></html>tag wraps the entire document
<head></head>tag wraps elements that shouldn’t be rendered: information about the page and how to process it
<body></body>tag wraps elements that should be displayed: the actual content
- MDN HTML Overview
- MDN HTML Reference
- HTML Styleguide
- Also, check out the cheat sheets in independent study
For Placement Only (FPO)
Let’s take a moment to digress and discuss important things. Like “For Placement Only” (FPO) options in design. Often, you will find yourself forced to build interfaces before you have content. In such cases, you can use FPO content. There are many options for FPO copy, images, and video on the interwebs. Here are some to get you started:
- Meet the Ipsums
- Lorem Pixel
- Article with useful sites for free icons, image assets, etc.
Your Challenges (2)
Layout the structure of these following sites. Only use HTML for these challenges. The goal is build the structure of your application.
1. Create this table
You can use codepen or create your own html file. ** Hint: Research the table element in HTML
2. Create this Dog Party
- Create a directory called
- Create a sub-directory called
- Create a file called
First thing’s first, you’ll need to download the assets.
Now, in your
dog-party site directory, begin laying out the HTML for this site: