HTML stands for Hyper Text Mark-Up Language and is the main language used to display the pages of a website on any web or mobile device browser. HTML works in conjunction with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). The concept of HTML was first introduced by scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee when in 1990 he created the information management system in an attempt to easily transfer data between universities.
The mark-up language of HTML is written using tags and angle brackets, information that allows the server to execute certain commands, please refer to list below for various HTML tags. The web browser transforms the HTML code to a visual on screen representation.
You can easily view this code on a live site by holding your mouse over any part of the screen and right click, from the options you are presented with select view source code; this will display the code in the background everything your browser is reading. This is a good method to study and to learn how web pages are constructed and presented to the browser using HTML.
More recently Cascading style sheets (CSS) was implemented to define the design and layout of web pages, as an example HTML will define the content whereas CSS will define the layout and design of the content. So what you are reading at the moment is appearing due to HTML but it is the CSS that controls the font colour, size including the layout of where the content appears and the background colour of the page. HTML will dump the information and it’s the CSS that controls where the text appears and arranges everything to look nice and neat. Read more on What is CSS?
This method frees up the HTML to concentrate only on content, resulting in much less code which ultimately helps load a web page quicker. Prior to 1996 when CSS was first introduced web pages used to consist of pages and pages of code literally thousands of lines of code. As the web has evolved in this information hungry generation and with the implementation of mobile devices there was a need for quicker results. We can all remember the old days when we waited moments for a page to load, nowadays we have not only broadband for a faster connection and transfer we also have cascading style sheets (CSS) which has cut thousands of lines of code to the average of under 500.
The use of precise HTML is crucial and will help your website go a long way when optimising your website, read here for information on search engine optimisation techniques.
As a simple example is the use of HTML <h1>heading 1 tags</h1> this helps the visually impaired navigate through your website using the arrow keys, as well as other tools special screen-reading software that will read through the content of a page the user can now jump from section to section using these heading tags.
<h1> - <h6>