July 28, 2023Read More
Posted by Scott Harrington, July 17, 2023
So, let’s dive into these three powerful tools for web development and design.
What Is HTML?
HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. It is the standard markup language used to create and design websites and web applications.
Note: A markup language is defined as a text-encoding system where symbols are used in a text document to control its structure, formatting, or relationship between its parts.
HTML provides a structure for content on the internet. It defines the layout, formatting and the relationship between different parts on a page. It allows you to structure the web page into elements like headings, sections, paragraphs, and navigation bars.
HTML creates a frame in which elements such as text, images, videos, and interactive elements all link together. But, HTML alone doesn't handle the presentation or interactivity of the site.
Let's think of your website as a car. HTML creates the chassis, engine bracket, and body frame of the car – although these are important, together it does not create a complete vehicle.
What Is CSS?
CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, is universally embraced to implement modern web pages in a visually appealing way. It is a style sheet language used to describe the presentation and layout of HTML documents.
Note: A style sheet language is a computer language that expresses the presentation of structured documents.
CSS works hand in hand with HTML. When an HTML document is rendered it is typically boring and uninspiring. Enter CSS to add beauty and style!
Thinking of the car metaphor again, CSS delivers a sleek paint job, chrome detailing, custom wheels, lights, leather and other stylish finishes.
HTML functional application
HTML's foremost function is to provide information on the web page in an organised manner.
To do this HTML uses a series of tags to define the structure and semantics of the content. This lets web browsers interpret and display the page correctly.
In HTML, tags are represented by angle brackets (< and >), which enclose content.
These tags are organised in a hierarchical manner to form a tree-like structure known as the Document Object Model (DOM).
Common tags that define the main elements are:
- html - The root element
- head - Document head
- title - Page title
- body - Page's content
- h1 - Section heading
- p - Paragraph
- a - Anchor tag to create link
- img - An image
You can see from the above how a basic structure takes shape.
As mentioned, HTML also defines the relationship between parts and links various elements together. HTML uses attributes to provide additional information about an element and modify its behaviour or appearance. For example, an attribute may be included in the image element <img>to show the path to the image.
Once the basic HTML is rendered you will want to enhance its dull black-and-white look, default font style and basic navigation.
CSS allows web developers to control the pages by defining how elements should be displayed.
The primary CSS functionalities are selectors, properties, and styles.
Selectors: CSS uses selectors to 'select' the elements to style. Selectors can be based on element names, class names, IDs, and attributes.
Properties: CSS properties are style rules that define the aspects being styled. Common properties are colour, font size, background colour, margin, and padding.
Values: The style being applied. For example, the 'colour' property might have the value 'blue'.
This is broadly how CSS modifies the style, colour, positioning, layout, and navigation to make the website more engaging and appealing.
Developers and web designers are able to separate the content from its presentation. This makes it easier to maintain and update the website design without altering the underlying HTML code.
- It interacts with the DOM and CSS to update the web page and create an ongoing dynamic user experience.
Still with us? Now we’ve put together some useful practices to follow:
- Test your pages on different browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari) to ensure consistent behaviour and appearance
- Robust security should include using HTTPS to secure data transmission
- Keep the markup clean and organised
- Optimise for SEO
- Use CSS for styling rather than HTML's inline styles
- Use external files to separate styles from HTML to make maintenance easier
- Embrace a mobile-first approach to ensure responsiveness on different devices
- Organise code into smaller manageable functions
- Use comments to document complex algorithms/logic
If you would like guidance with a website design project, here at Ryde we offer a full website design, development, and support service. Connect with us today to find out more.
Photo by Christina Morillo