Benefits of Understanding HTML

As more hosting companies offer free site builders and designers rely on WYSIWYG software, many people are forgetting just how important understanding HTML can be. If you haven’t taken the time to learn basic HTML, you may be missing out on several ways to make your site better, and you may find yourself in a pinch should your software fail or you can’t use it to fix something on your site.

Here are just a few reasons why HTML knowledge can be very beneficial:

1. Site builders don’t always work.

If your site builder goes down, or if you need to add some code to your site that cannot be added via your software, having a basic knowledge of HTML will be very useful. An example of this would be Java code for certain applications that will need to be added to a page on your site to call the script. If you don’t know your “head” from your “body,” inserting this code can be difficult. Most Java scripts need to be called after the < head > tag and before the < /body > tag, and just this simple knowledge can help you install scripts easier, and get them to work more quickly.

2. You can’t always take your software with you.

In the event that you are using design software that is tied to one computer, you may run into problems if you’re on the road and need to update your site, or if for some reason, you can’t access that particular computer. In this case, you may need to understand how to edit an HTML document without your software and understanding how HTML works will help you find what you need to change more quickly. For someone with absolutely no idea of what a raw HTML page looks like, this can be a daunting task. However, if you know the basic codes for specific actions or formatting, you’ll be able to quickly update your site without getting lost in a mountain of code.

3. HTML can help you understand other programming languages.

If you have the basics of HTML down, you can quickly pick-up several new scripting languages that are now available. While not all of these languages have HTML in their roots, they do have similarities and some even use HTML in their code. Having this extra knowledge can put you ahead of the game and help you make your site better and more up-date.

Even if you’re only running a site in your spare time, a couple of hours spent learning HTML are well worth your time. There are several places where you can take free HTML lessons, or just learn the basics, right from your home. W3Schools.com offers several free HTML tutorials and they include a tool that will allow you to test your newfound knowledge as you go along. This is a great way to quickly learn HTML and put it to good use on your own site.

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Posted on 02/26/06 8:45 PM

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