Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the language that web pages use to represent the information contained in a web page. When you view a web page your browser loads and interprets text in an html file and displays that information graphically on your browser. Even the images you are viewing are instructions in the HTML file that tell the browser “show an image here” and other similar commands. Anyone who wishes to create quality web pages needs to become familiar with the syntax and rules of HTML.
Since web pages consist primarily of html files that are strictly text based, it is possible to construct web pages using a simple text editor like notepad. The job becomes more tedious for elaborate web pages and sites that have content that you want to remain consistent across. Toward that end, HTML Editors have been created to aid the webmaster in creating elaborate and consistent web pages for a site.
The best editors have both a WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) design workspace as well as an ability to code html directly. The design workspace allows the webmaster to create his content graphically and quickly, seeing the results as he goes. Unfortunately, even the best graphical interfaces create bloated html code and it is necessary to go directly into the code to tweak the html.
While basic html editing is very simple and even a novice can create a simple web page, there are intermediate to advanced techniques to web design including the inclusion of applets and scripts that take time and instruction to learn. Beyond the technical aspects, there are asthetic or artistic aspects of web design that create a “feel” for a website that are more difficult to teach and are reflections of artistic talent.
Given the breadth of the subject, an exhaustive discussion of web design or even the intricacies of html editors, I’ll merely recommend some books. Those who have the time and interest in building their own web pages should consider the HTML editors and resources below. A great way to build quick content, and learn HTML along the way, is to use pre-made web templates built by professionals. Businesses more concerned with getting a professional site online should consider hiring a professional web designer to build their website.