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html-css-fundamentals

How these 14 HTML CSS basics can clear your fundamentals

Do you still struggle while coding in HTML CSS? Perhaps you need to revisit your HTML CSS Basics.

It is of utmost importance to have your basics very clear if you wish to learn any language.

HTML CSS Basics
HTML CSS Basics

This post will clear your basics of HTML CSS.


HTML CSS basics – What is HTML?

What is HTML?
What is HTML?

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. 

HTML is the standard markup language for creating Web pages. 

HTML describes the structure of a Web page. 

HTML consists of a series of elements. HTML elements tell the browser how to display the content.

Every programming language has a version. HTML5 is the latest and current version of the HTML language.

Click here to read more about HTML


HTML CSS basics – What is an HTML document?

What is an HTML Document
A basic HTML document

An HTML document is a file containing Hypertext Markup Language, and its filename most often ends in the .html extension or .htm. 

An HTML document is a text document read in by a Web browser and then rendered on the screen.


HTML CSS basics – Anatomy of an HTML document

Anatomy of an HTML document
Anatomy of an HTML document

Any valid HTML document should consist of the following HTML elements:

  • <!DOCTYPE html> — doctype. It is a required preamble. In the mists of time, when HTML was young (around 1991/92), doctypes were meant to act as links to a set of rules that the HTML page had to follow to be considered good HTML mean automatic error checking and other useful things. However, these days, they don’t do much and are just needed to make sure your document behaves correctly. That’s all you need to know for now.
  • <html></html> — the <html> element. This element wraps all the content on the entire page and is sometimes known as the root element.
  • <head></head> — the <head> element. This element acts as a container for all the stuff you want to include on the HTML page that isn’t the content you show to your page’s viewers. It includes keywords and a page description that you want to appear in search results, CSS to style our content, character set declarations, and more.
  • <meta charset= “utf-8”> — This element sets the character set your document should use to UTF-8, which includes most characters from the vast majority of written languages. Essentially, it can now handle any textual content you might put on it. There is no reason not to set this, and it can help avoid some problems later on.
  • <body></body> — the <body> element. It contains all the content that you want to show to web users when they visit your page, whether that’s text, images, videos, games, playable audio tracks, or whatever else.

HTML CSS basics – What is an HTML element?

HTML Element
HTML Element (the paragraph element)

An HTML element is an individual component of an HTML document. It represents semantics or meaning. For example, the title element represents the title of the document. We will learn about the HTML attributes in the next chapter.


HTML CSS basics – Anatomy of an HTML element

Anatomy of an HTML element
Anatomy of an HTML element

The main parts of an HTML element are as follows: 

The opening tag: This consists of the element name (in this case, p), wrapped in opening and closing angle brackets. 

The content: This is the actual content that you want to show to the user.

The closing tag: This consists of the element name (in this case, p), wrapped in opening and closing angle brackets with a / prefix. 

The element: The opening tag, the closing tag, and the content together form the element.

You can read more about anatomy of an HTML element


HTML CSS basics – What is an HTML attribute?

HTML attribute
HTML attribute (class)

HTML attributes are special words used inside the opening tag to control the element’s behavior. HTML attributes are a modifier of an HTML element type.

Attributes contain extra information about the element that you don’t want to appear in the actual content.

You can read more about HTML attribute in the article anatomy of an HTML element


HTML CSS basics – What are Tags in HTML?

Tags in HTML
Tags in HTML (paragraph)

Any HTML element comprises of tags. 

Pairing HTML elements have an opening and closing tag.

Inline or Empty HTML element has a self-closing tag.


HTML CSS basics – What is CSS?

What is CSS?
What is CSS?

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. 

CSS is used to style the HTML elements.

The appearance of an HTML element on the screen, paper, or mobile is defined using CSS.

Click here to read more about CSS


HTML CSS basics – What is a CSS file?

A simple CSS file
A simple CSS file

A CSS file in an independent file with an extension .css.

A CSS file has CSS rules written to control the HTML page’s appearance and its elements.


HTML CSS basics – What is a CSS Ruleset?

CSS Ruleset
CSS Ruleset

CSS ruleset consists of a selector and a declaration block: The selector points to the HTML element you want to style. The declaration block contains one or more declarations separated by semicolons. Each declaration includes a CSS property name and a value, separated by a colon.


HTML CSS basics – What are CSS Selectors?

CSS Selectors
CSS Selectors

CSS selectors are used to selecting an HTML element or a set of HTML elements to assign styles.

CSS selectors are patterns used to select the element(s) you want to style.

In the example above ‘p’ is the selector.


HTML CSS basics – What are CSS properties?

CSS Properties
CSS Properties

We assign a style to a particular element using a CSS property.

Each property has a set of possible values. 

In the example above we are assigning the value ‘red’ to the property color.

This declaration means that the text color of all the paragraph elements should be red.


HTML CSS basics – Anatomy of a CSS ruleset

Anatomy of a CSS ruleset
Anatomy of a CSS ruleset

The whole structure is called a ruleset. (We often refer the term ruleset to as a just rule.) Note the names of the individual parts:

Selector

The HTML element name at the start of the ruleset. It defines the element(s) to be styled (in this example, <p> elements). To style a different element, change the selector.

Declaration

A declaration is a single rule like color: red; 

It specifies which of the properties of the element you want to style.

Properties

These are ways in which you can style an HTML element. (In this example, color is a property of the <p> elements.) In CSS, you choose which properties you want to affect the rule.

Property value

To the right of the property—after the colon—there is the property value. The property value chooses one out of many possible appearances for a given property. (For example, there are many color values in addition to red.)

Note the other important parts of the syntax:

  • Apart from the selector, we should wrap the ruleset in curly braces. ({})
  • Within each declaration, you must use a colon (:) to separate the property from its value or values.
  • Within each ruleset, you must use a semicolon (;) to separate each declaration from the next one.

To modify multiple property values in one ruleset, write them separated by semicolons, like this:


HTML CSS basics – How to include CSS in HTML

How to Include CSS in HTML page
How to Include CSS in HTML page

There are three different ways to include CSS in HTML

  1. By linking an external CSS file
  2. By writing internal CSS in HTML page
  3. By writing Inline CSS in HTML page

You can read the more about this in my article How to include CSS in HTML page

Conclusion

Each of the HTML CSS Basics listed on this page deserver a post of its own (stay tuned).

I hope these HTML CSS Basics are helpful and have cleared your doubts and gained you some confidence.

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