Most of the stuff on the web is no different than the stuff on your computer — it’s just a whole load of files sorted into a whole load of directories.
HTML files are nothing more than simple text files, so to start writing in HTML, you need nothing more than a simple text editor.
Notepad is a common text
editor on Windows-based
computers (usually found
under the Programs >
Accessories menu) and Mac OSX
computers come bundled with
TextEdit but any program that
lets you fiddle with text will do.
Type this in to your text editor:
This is my first web pag
Now create a folder called
“html” wherever you like to
save files on your computer
and save the file as
Be careful. It is important that
the extension “.html” is
specified - some text editors,
such as Notepad, will
automatically save it as “.txt”
You also need to ensure that
your file is being saved as plain
text. TextEdit, for example,
will start new files as “Rich
text”, containing lots of
formatting extras, by default.
In such cases, go into the
preferences and make sure you
check the “Plain text” format
option before creating a new
To look at HTML files, they don’t even need to be on the
web. Open a web browser such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari
or Internet Explorer and in the address bar, where you
usually type web addresses, type in the location of the
file you just saved (for example, “c:\html
\myfirstpage.html”) and hit return. Alternatively, go to
the File menu of the browser, select Open, and browse for
Pow. There it is. Your first web page. How exciting. And all
it took was a few typed words.
We’ve said here to use a basic text-editor, such as
Notepad, but you may be tempted to use a dedicated
software program such as Adobe Dreamweaver.
You should be very careful when using these programs,
especially if you are a beginner, because they often throw
in unnecessary or non-standard code to “help” you.
If you’re serious about learning HTML, you should read
through a tutorial such as this first, so that you at least
have a basic understanding of what is going on.
Software programs such as these will never give you the
same control over a web page as coding by hand.
If you do decide to use specialized code-editing
software, we recommend one in which you are still coding
by hand. They can, in fact, be helpful, especially the
more advanced you become, in terms of code syntax
highlighting and file management.