A Beginner's Guide to HTML

This is a really basic tutorial for writing very simple HTML (hypertext markup language) documents. This isn't going to tell you about how to make REALLY fancy webpages, but you can make some FAIRLY fancy webpages with what I'm giving you. Please understand that there are tons of sites and books about how to do this. So, this is really only going to scratch the surface of what's possible in terms of web page design. Personally, I found that once I got over the initial confusion about how this stuff all works, I was able to teach myself lots more just by looking around at the web-sites designed for teaching HTML. It's a great deal easier to do this than most people think.

Outline of Basic Webshop Goals & Additional Topics

  1. SECTION ONE: The basics
    Create a simple web (home) page that contains at least one example each of a:

  2. SECTION TWO: Publishing the web page
    Overview of the basic process:

  3. SECTION THREE: Fancier Stuff

  4. SECTION FOUR: Advanced (stuff not covered in the Webshop)

  5. SECTION FIVE: Webshop Wrapup

Section One: The Basics

Below is the simplest bare-bones HTML file one might create, which I've called "hello1.html" and saved for you already. (It is worth mentioning right away that some web-accounts are case-sensitive when it comes to filenames. For instance, for some computers it wouldn't make a difference if I'd named this file "HELLO1.HTML" or "Hello1.Html" etc. However, for some computers, it would make a BIG difference. So, be sure that you are VERY consistent in how you name and reference your web-files.)

The minimum information that is needed for a web page is as follows (only what you see in the bigger (yellow) box, the numbers are just for reference):








<TITLE>Appears as a header at the top of the web browser</TITLE>


<H1>Hello world...</H1>
<P>A standard (boring) tutorial greeting    page.</P>



Click here to see what it looks like as a web page.
Press the BACK button to return to this page when you're done.

OK, so what's the deal with all the letters and symbols?

OK, now that we've covered the bare-bones web page, how's about making it look more interesting?

Before I continue, though, I think that it might be worth it to mention a useful technique for tracking your changes while you create/edit your webpages. What you are doing in your text editor really doesn't make it easy to see what the end-product of your tooling will look like. (Although there are editors that make it very easy to see what you're doing, they tend to hide the HTML so you don't really know what's going on "underneath" it all.)

Rather than go through the trouble of uploading to the web every modification you make to your page to see how it will look, simply open your .HTML file in Netscape (or your browser of choice) and "refresh" that page whenever you save changes to that .HTML file. Once you like the way it looks, THEN upload the file to the web.

End of Section One
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Section Two: Publishing Your WEB Page

Once you have something that you are happy with, and would like to put it on the WEB for all to see, you'll need two things:

  1. A computer account that serves you (i.e., that has internet access). In this case, I am assuming that you have a current, working Robert Morris email account. That's all we need to get you going. Other similar (vendor) accounts should work; as long as that account is set up for internet service (the vendor does that, not you), the chances are good that you could generalize this (the example to follow) to that server. My approach here, though, will be to use the standard Robert Morris account as my only example.

  2. A means to transfer the files you've created from your computer to the Robert Morris server. I've given you a nice little program (WS_FTP) to do this with.

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Section Three: Some fancier (more advanced) stuff

If you are like most people and become addicted to making web-pages, you'll soon enough find yourself wanting to do more and more cooler things to tweak your pages. I'm not planning to tell you all that stuff here, but, I can tell you some of the basic tools you'll need to get that initial "tweak-satisfaction."

I'll provide a few links at the end of this document (that won't go bad too soon, I hope). These will send you off to relatively fertile tweaking grounds beyond what I plan to cover. My basic goals in this section, though, are to show you how irritating, yet useful, tables are when it comes to helping you manage web-content. Then, some basic web-features people quickly turn to once they've got the basic skills needed for making simple web-pages.

By the way, I should mention that when I use the term "simple web-pages" I certainly don't mean that you will be limited to creating boring pages. Rather, I mean that with these relatively simple tools, you can make just about ANY kind of web page. What I consider to be "complex web-pages" are those that use java (etc.) and so would likely require a more detailed and deeper understanding of many things (not to mention real programming skills).

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Section Four: More advanced stuff not really covered in the WEBShop

End of Section Four
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Section Five: WebShop Wrapup

End of Section Five & Tutorial
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