This is HTML: Indexed - Web Development Explained

An overview on what HTML is and how to use them while making websites. Part 1 of the Indexed - Web Development Explained series.

Written by Zeu | 01-06-2024

Elements, Tags, and the Properties Within

HTML is the programming language used to layout the content inside a webpage. Writing in HTML involves using elements, also known as tags (throughout the series, I will be using these interchangeably), and putting them in order for your design.

Most tags are used in twos, both with angle brackets with the type inside, with the ending tag’s type starting with a slash. Between the two is where we’d put content, which can also include more elements. Some elements, like <img />, are what’s called “self-closing tags”, denoted with the slash at the end.

An error has occurred??

    <h2>An error has occurred??</h2>
    <img src="" />

We can configure tags like these with its properties, or “props” for short. For example, to have this image tag to show a picture, we’ll set its src property a link, as well as state an alternate text to make it accessible to those hard of seeing.

So Common You Should Memorize Them

Mozilla Developer Network (MDN), a definitive web development resource online, has a list of all HTML tags. All in all, there are 142 elements, 115 of which are functional today with the rest being deprecated. Now you aren’t expected to learn every single tag, but when you make enough websites there will be elements that comes up often.

Here’s my list of tags I use everyday:

There are plenty more that I’m missing as I rattle these off at the top of my head. I memorize these since I use these everyday no matter the kind of website I’m creating, but if there’s anything I need that I don’t remember (for example <video> or <track>), MDN and Google are always there for me.

Just the beginning

HTML can only get you so far. Over the years, a lot of functionality has been baked into these elements. A recent example can be seen with the <dialog> tag that makes modals native to the browser, a feature that’s been in use for decades before and practically only available in Javascript packages and frameworks.

With that in mind, dialogs and buttons can’t work without some scripting, so in the next part of the Indexed series, we’ll start to take a look at the basics of Javascript (“JS”) and how to use them with HTML. First up is using vanilla JS, before moving onto JS UI frameworks that are popular today, like React and Svelte.

Thanks for reading

Indexed is a series to write down all I’ve learned about web development. Think of this as my notebook scribbled with tips and lessons about how I think about websites. We’ll see if I can make one of these blogs every week.

That’s in the future though! For now, I’d like to thank you for reading this blog. I very much appreciate it, and if you can do me a favor, take a look at the links down below. Catch you in the next one!

Shameless Plugs