In this podcast Carl talks about the important of learning HTML and CSS so that you can always make changes to your website and understand how they work.
The web is built on these two langauges, they are the content that we read and the design we enjoy. Without HTML / CSS our web pages would be nothing, so wether we are managing existing pages or creating new ones we need to know how they are put together. In this podcast Carl talks about the important of learning HTML and CSS so that you can always make changes to your website and understand how they work.
Understanding How The Web Works
If you have any sort of content management system you will have some sort of way of just typing in like using Microsoft Word, however what if things start happening you don`t want them to? This is where knowing the code behind the page helps you achieve exactly how you want. I remember working with a Poet to create his site, he was very keen on the page being laid out exactly how he wanted e.g. double spacing after periods and a whole plethora of seemingly minute changes. By teaching him HTML he was able to get the exact formatting he wanted, which in the wold of Poetry is very important.
Knowing how the HTML drives the content you see helps you understand the smallest part of the web works, pages. From pages you can understand websites and then how the web works as a whole.
Content is King, Design is Queen and user experience is the castle.
Managing Your Own Website Saves You Money
One of our very first trainees was a marketing manager for his family business selling Powertools and ever since they went live on the web in 2005 they have been paying a lot of money to various designers to make simple changes. One such example was when one of the major credit card companies changes their logo, Mike was then charged 50 pounds to make a simple change to one image on his site. Since then he was keen on learning how to do it himself. Since starting our courses Mike is now making custom newsletters, formatting and layout changes to his site and constantly updating the site with offers and quality content. To get the same amount of work done would have taken a plethora of emails, a gargantuan amount of time and a sh** load of money.
Since learning HTML & CSS at Web Courses Bangkok I have saved potentially 1000s of pounds. Mike – Datapowertools.co.uk
Fixing and Finding Errors Easily
There just is not a “fix that weird line appearing under all my text” button or a “move that image right a bit just below that sentence” this is why you need an understanding of the code so you can go into the HTML view and tweak things exactly how you want. With errors this is especially important as moving and adding things in a editor can sometimes break the code behind the page, in the event of this you need to be able to look at the issue and think “I know why all the text is now blue and underlined, it’s because the end of a link tag has gone missing” so somewhere you will need to put a ‘</a>’ and all will be well.
Not Being Scared of the Code
I love showing trainees at the start of a beginners course some HTML and asking them on a scale of 1 to 10 how scary it is. Generally I get anything from 8 to 11! This is because people look at the code as a whole and not break it up. So I take them through the fact that the <p> tags describe what we see in the browser, then I ask them what do they think <img> means, they smile and say ‘image’ obviously. I go onto <p><h1> and even <ul> and they begin to see instantly how this strange language, that looks more like it belongs in The Matrix, actually translates into a website.
What I am trying to say is do not be scared when you see all that code. It all makes sense if you break it down and look for common words. <p> and other tags are easy and if you see lots of <scripts> then look at the words inside and you may see something ‘slider’ or ‘google fonts’ and you bet your bottom dollar that it has something to do with your nice slider on your home page or the fact you wanted to use a special font.
Lastly if you are in doubt of anything you see when you view source, Google it! The web is full of resources for us web designers and it comes with plenty of help.
Your Website how you Want it.
There are many starting points with web design these days, you can have them made, use a pre made system, template driven sites and, our favorite, using a WordPress theme. Now it is very rare that you get anything pre made that is exactly how you want it, so what do you do? You change the HTML and CSS to reflect your brand and requirements.
Even if you have the most beautiful theme there will always be things you want to change, move, tweak and remove. By knowing The Code, you will be able to customise until your hearts content.
Learning HTML and CSS – Last Words
There are many ways to learn HTML & CSS:
- Learning online with websites like w3schools – www.w3schools.com/
- Doing one of the many online tutorials – www.webdesignfromscratch.com/html-css/
- Reading one of the many books – astore.amazon.com – Web Courses Bangkok recommendations
- Asking a friend to teach you – www.facebook.com
- Taking a course like ones we offer
- Beginners Web Site Design
- Intermediate Web Design
- Private Tuition
What ever your style, enjoy learning and creating, that way you will remember more and achieve great things on the web. Wether you are wanting to save money, take control of yours own website or create one from scratch, learning HTML and CSS is the key to the web.