How much HTML do I need to know?

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CharlesC
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How much HTML do I need to know?

Post by CharlesC » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:43 am

Hi! In a few months I'm planning on launching a personal site, sort of like a blog, and before I dive into something like this I wanted to ask, if I want to purchase my own domain and a hosting package along with it so I can have my own .com address then how much HTML/CSS shall I know to know my way around building a site? I've used Wordpress before and I know some basic HTML but nothing advanced, so I thought I'd go with a host that has built-in templates and tools so I don't have to make pages from scratch (these tools are what I'm talking about), but since I'm about to pay for a subscription I want to know if I should dig into some more advanced HTML before I do so. Or I also thought about asking someone to do it for me but that would be more expenses :S Do you think (very) basic HTML is enough to be able to build a site? Any input is appreciated, thanks!

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Lou
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Re: How much HTML do I need to know?

Post by Lou » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:23 am

HTML & CSS are like any language, the more you know the more expressive you can be.

Take the English language for example. A young child or someone just learning English can communicate simple things. They can get along with basic noun/verb/object sentences. People that try to understand them (like browsers) are fault tolerance and try to understand what is meant in spite of errors in structure or grammar.

Like beginners in any language, using templates (copying what others say) is a way to get started. You're not going to write a sonnet, but you can communicate. Using tools that check spelling and grammar can help a person improve their communication in English, just as using the CSE Validator can help improve your communication in HTML. As with English you may find that just using basic templates, like noun/verb/object, limit your ability to express what you wish to communicate. You may be inspired to use more expressive forms, with modifiers or more complex structures.

As with any programming language, we all started with the equivalent of "Hello World". The web is full of pages that have not progressed much passed that level of structure or content. Hosts like the one you mentioned help make the web more egalitarian. It is up to the authors to provide the content.
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Albert Wiersch
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Re: How much HTML do I need to know?

Post by Albert Wiersch » Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:23 am

Nowadays you can have a site and know practically nothing about HTML and CSS.

If you just want to get content up and only use what's already available to do so, then you probably need to know little or nothing about HTML & CSS.

The people who really must know HTML and CSS these days are the developers who make the tools that allow others to have websites without knowing any HTML and CSS.

However, if you want to get a little deeper into the technical aspect of your site, then the more you know, the more you can do, like what Lou said above.

Even if you created your site with online tools and without knowing any HTML & CSS, you could still use CSE HTML Validator to check the HTML and CSS output of it. Using it you may find suggestions for improvements, including SEO, and misspelled words (which you can probably easily fix), and even plenty of deprecated, incompatible, or poor HTML and CSS that you might what to ask the developers to fix.

You could also say it depends on how technical you are willing and wanting to get, given how much time you have to do everything.

In any case, I think that most serious website owners should have at least a little knowledge of basic HTML, CSS, and SEO. By "serious", I mean anyone who spends more than a couple hours per day on their site or who wants to make a profit from it as opposed to just a "for fun" site or a lightly trafficked site that you don't put much time into.
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