HTML in Web Development

Learn HTML at General Assembly

By Sasha Vodnik

Hypertext Markup Language, or HTML, is a programming language used to describe the structure of information on a web page. Together, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript make up the essential building blocks of websites, with CSS controlling a page’s appearance, and JavaScript programming its functionality. You can think of HTML as providing the bones of a web page, while CSS provides the skin, and JavaScript provides the brains.

A web page can contain headings, paragraphs, images, videos, and many other types of data. Front-end developers use HTML elements to specify what kind of information each item on a web page contains — for instance, the “p” element indicates a paragraph. Developers also write HTML code to specify how different items relate to one another in the overall structure of the page.

Every website you open in your browser, from social networks to music services, uses HTML. A look under the hood of any website would reveal HTML code providing structure for all the page’s components.

A look at the HTML code that structures General Assembly’s website.

 

How HTML Works in a Web Page

HTML plays a couple of significant roles in a web page. First, we use the structure created by our HTML code to reference, enhance, and manipulate elements on a web page using CSS and JavaScript. For instance, you could use HTML to mark all of the headings on a web page, and then use CSS to specify the font, size, and color you want to apply to those headings to reflect your organization’s branding, or simply a visual design developed for the site. Second, HTML lets us indicate the roles of different elements to search engines and other services that index the content and summarize it for other users. For instance, marking the caption of an image with the “figcaption” element and enclosing the image and its caption in the “figure” element helps a search engine understand that these two pieces of content are related, and that the caption describes the associated image.

Learning HTML at General Assembly

Whether you want to land a job as a front-end or full-stack web developer, or just want to dip your toe into programming, HTML is a natural place to start. Learning HTML, along with CSS and basic JavaScript, provides you with the fundamental skills necessary to create your own interactive single-page website.

In GA’s part-time courses in Front-End Web Development and HTML, CSS & Web Design, and our career-changing, full-time Web Development Immersive program, you’ll get hands-on practice coding your own projects, from static personal and business websites to single-page applications like games and interactive photo galleries. These projects give you practice using basic HTML tags and structuring pages with different components, including headers, footers, sidebars, and navigation. You’ll also code CSS and JavaScript, and learn how to put all three together to build websites that implement modern standards and use best practices for front-end development.

Meet Our Expert

Sasha Vodnik is a front-end web developer and author who teaches Front-End Web Development and JavaScript Development at General Assembly’s San Francisco campus. He also writes books on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and creates video courses through Lynda.com.

“I love meeting students from a wide variety of industries, with a whole spectrum of goals, from all over the world. I’m continually inspired by the thoughtful, creative projects they build in the course that showcase their new skills and unique vision.”

Sasha Vodnik, Front-End Web Development Instructor, General Assembly San Francisco