The term html written in neon green lit-up letters on a dark screen background with other neon coding terms on the screen.
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4 ways beginners can get to grips with HTML

3 Mar 2023

HTML is behind pretty much everything you see on the internet. Here are some approaches to learning it, whether you’re a total newbie or just want to have fun.

Even if you are not a software developer you may be familiar with HTML. It is pretty much the backbone of the entire internet, after all. Lots of websites are built and formatted using HTML.

The acronym HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. The markup language component means it’s used for defining formatting – things like paragraphs, line breaks, headings and embeds.

The most recent version of HTML is HTML5 and there are lots of fun and creative ways to familiarise yourself with it.

Here are four different approaches you can follow when it comes to brushing up on your HTML skills.

The basics

Building a survey form, product landing page, technical documentation page, an image slider and even an interactive restaurant website are just some of the simple but rewarding projects you can do to test yourself.

The website is one example of where you will find visual instructions and examples of how to create these features using HTML.

Ireland’s own Code Institute also has a very good guide on how to do some of these simple projects.

When you’re learning a new tech skill it can sometimes be rewarding enough to see the output of what you’re creating and you don’t need any more novelty.

The novelties

That being said, novelties are fun. With HTML’s creator Tim Berners-Lee considered a founding father (more or less) of the internet, it’s only natural to want to follow in his footsteps and play around with it.

The first version of HTML was written by Berners-Lee in 1993. By internet standards that’s prehistoric.

If you want some fun, light-hearted ways to complement your knowledge of things like how to make a landing page, there are lots of options out there.

For example, you can have a go at building a very primitive form of retro games like Snake. This website lets you play the game first and then try editing the code using an online editor.

Coding Fantasy is another great resource if you want to learn coding by playing games. Its games cover HTML, JavaScript and CSS. All three work together, so you should, where possible,  incorporate JavaScript and CSS into your learning activities.

You can play games such as Grid Attack (help an elf find and save her brother using code) and Flex Box Adventure (help King Arthur get revenge on the three brothers that scammed him with Bitcoin and stole his gold).

There’s also a game due for release that’s based on Elon Musk’s tweets.

(A small warning: you might waste hours of time playing these games in the name of learning HTML but you will have fun.)

The conventional way

As you can tell from some of the previous skills articles has published on topics like JavaScript and Python, online short courses are one of the default methods of approaching learning code.

This course by Codeacademy is aimed at beginners and takes around nine hours to complete.

The syllabus contains six lessons, with four projects and five quizzes, meaning it’s a good option if you want to mix the traditional learning approach with some of the fun methods mentioned above.

Watch and learn’s YouTube channel offers this two-hour video tutorial on HTML which is a nice option if you like learning by watching videos.

Another video to check out is this one-hour crash course in HTML by Programming with Mosh.

And if you’re really strapped for time and just need to know how to build a website, this half-hour video from shows you what you need to know.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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