What you need to first start creating a website

Making websites doesn’t require much at all; a text editor like Notepad and a browser to test your code and you are ready to go if you know HTML.

If you don’t know already, HTML is what makes web pages. HTML is what is called a markup language, and what HTML does basically is tell the web browser (like Internet Explorer or Netscape) how and what to display on the page.

Like any language, HTML has rules and words that have a meaning, in this case the meanings of those words are related to displaying web pages. These ‘words’ are called ‘tags’ or ‘HTML tags’, so when building HTML pages you are actually just typing out a series of HTML tags with text and images (among other things) stuck in-between.

Example: This is an HTML tag that tells the browser to make text bold:

<b> This text will be bold. </b>

The ‘b’ in-between the angled brackets ‘<>’ stand for ‘bold’. This tag tells the web browser to make whatever is in-between the <b> and </b> bold. Most HTML tags come in pairs where there is always an opening tag: <b> and a closing tag: </b>.

There are many tags that do everything from formatting text (as we did with the <b></b> tag.) to structuring the page globally. This is the very basics and I will not go any further in this article.

Now you know the magic behind web pages! You now can guess that all those programs that make web pages (GoLive, Dreamweaver, FrontPage) are just really writing out a bunch of HTML tags for you. Don’t get me wrong, I think using HTML editors is a must, but it always good to know what these programs are doing ‘behind the scenes’.

How to view your page:

Once you have written all your tags on the page and inserted the text and links to images you want to display, all you need to do is change your actual file to have a file extension of HTML or HTM. Every computer file has a file extension (mostly) so for example Notepad produces a file with the extension of ‘txt’. So you might have a file called ‘myGroceries.txt’ if you typed out your grocery list in Notepad. So if you typed out your web page in Notepad, all you have to do to let browsers know that your file contains HTML is to change it from ‘.txt’ to ‘.HTML’ or ‘.HTM’. When a browser is directed to open up a document that has an HTML or HTM extension, it knows that this is an HTML page and it reads your tags to display the page as you intended. That is basically what is going on when you are surfing on the web.