HTML - HyperText Markup Language


HTML (HyperText Markup Language) was invented in the early 1990's by Tim Berners-Lee. It is not a programming language, but is considered "coding". It consists of HTML "Tags" that are coded into a file (web page) to indicate how text, images and other content will appear on the web page.HTML places content on a web page. Another language, CSS, handles formatting and layout of that content, e.g. bold, colors, font size, location on web page, etc.

HTML has evolved significantly since it was first introduced in 1990. It began with HTML 1.0 and is now on HTML 5. In each successive version new elements/tags and features were added, while old methods and tags were removed or recommended for future removal (deprecated).


HTML is free and open for anyone to develop web pages with. All one needs is a text editor, such as Notepad++ (to create the web pages in) and a web browser (to view the web pages in). Below are web site links to both.

Download Notepad++

Download Google Chrome Browser

Client vs. Server

HTML is a client-side language and therefore can be run/viewed on any user's computer that has a web browser installed on it. CSS and JavaScript are also client-side langauges. When a visiors browses a web page with these languages, they download the web page onto their computer and their web browser runs them. The fact that these languages are client-side has a number of implications:M/p>

  • This also means the visitor can view the source code of these files.
  • You can test and run your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript from either a local address (double click the web page file/icon or c:\products.html) or web address (
  • It mean the web page may look or function differently on different users devices. For example, if a user has an older web browser that doesn't support HTML 5, but the web page code has HTML 5 elements in it, they will not work.

PHP, on the other hand, is a server-side language, which means the code is executed on the server and the visitors cannot see the code, but only the resulting HTML and CSS it produces. Its functionality will also not vary from user to user.

Below is an illustration of this.

client/server process of web page


How you name your web page files is very important. Below are some recommendations to follow.

  • Never use spaces in web page files. Spaces are fine for productivity documents, such as MS Word. However, they are uncommon and cause issues with web pages. If you have a web page file name with more than one word in it and want to seperate the words, use an underscore, e.g. current_sales.html
  • Use all lower case. Windows servers are not case sensitive, but Linux servers are. Therefore, to ensure consistency between severs and make remembering filenames easier, it is strongly recommended you use all lowercase when naming web pages.
  • Make filenames meaningful. Meaningful filenames not only make knowing what the web page related to, but has had an impact on search engine results in the past.