Basic HTML

Developed with

The course is part of this learning path

Developing Web Applications with HTML and CSS
The History of HTML


In this module, you’ll get to grips with the basics of HTML, starting with its history, the fundamental pieces that make up HTML, and how to use attributes and comments properly. After this, will take a look at how containers work, how websites respond to syntax errors, and what a few of the special characters look like in html. Finally, we’ll end off with a deep dive into structural html, and how you can use it to create systematic, well thought out websites easily and effectively.


At the core of any website is an HTML document. Which describes the structure of the website and has the ability to link to other resources. But before we go into a whole lot of detail about the current iteration of HTML, HTML 5, it's worth knowing a little more about what HTML does and its history. HTML is a structural markup language, which isn't the same thing as a presentational markup language. Structural markup is all about the meaning and importance of elements within the document. It deals with things like headers, body content, lists and media.

Presentational markup is about how those things look to a user and deals with things like fonts, colors and animations for instance. So HTML doesn't tell the display software, like a computer screen or text only screen or braille output, how to display it's content. Instead, it just lays out the order in which content should be dealt with and the importance of that content in terms of heading levels. Structural markup is pretty useful then and a big part of it, is thanks to the Standard Generalized Markup language or SGML, which was developed to create a model for structural markup as a whole. 

HTML 2.0 was based on SGML and saw really wide spread use early on. With HTML 3.0 it was an attempt to update the HTML standard but this became obsolete because of the inability of the browser manufacturers to agree on some parts of it. While HTML 3.0 is now obsolete 3.2 can still be used. 3.2 removed mathematical markup from the specification and also, some browser manufacturer's specific elements, like Netscape's blink element and Microsoft's marquee element. HTML 4.01 brought real innovation and changed the standard.

Giving coders the ability to include Cascading Style Sheets or CSS, the Document Object Model, Scripting, XML and many other features. We'll deal with all of these in more detail throughout the course but for now, all you need to know is that HTML 4.01 revolutionized the standard, bringing many features or that we use in the current iteration of the standard HTML 5. HTML 5 is the current standard we use for structural markup and it rates on the 4.0 standard. It's also, the current W3C standard and so it's acknowledged as the best structural markup language to use. 

HTML 5 also, offers new features compared with its predecessors. Including many new structural elements like the Nav, Article, Section, Header, and Footer and new elements to embed multimedia into documents like video, audio and canvas. And that's it for this video. HTML has a long history as a structural markup language and HTML 5 the current iteration of the standard, is the most widely used structural markup language in use today. Offering users flexibility, security, and ease of use.


About the Author

Learning paths5

An outstanding trainer in software development with more than 15 years experience as a Corporate and Apprentice Trainer, ICT Teacher and Head of Department, with a passion for technology and its uses. Continuing to develop existing and new skills and courses, primarily in web design using PHP, JavaScript, HTML, CSS and SQL but also OOP (Java), programming foundations (Using Python), DevOps (Git, CI/CD, etc) and Agile/Scrum. Practically minded, a quick learner and a problem solver with an attention to detail to ensure high quality outcomes.

Covered Topics