By Chris Yust, Homeschool Programming, Inc.
In this digital age, you may find your children spending quite a bit of time on the Internet. They may be working in online classes, researching topics for papers, updating their Facebook and Twitter pages, or just surfing the web. Regardless of what your children enjoy doing online, chances are they have shown some interest in creating their own websites. Fortunately, basic website design is something that just about anyone can learn with no expensive software!
When you view a website, you are using a piece of software called a web browser. The most common web browsers on the market today are Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. These browsers all speak a common “language” called HTML. HTML code is mixed in with the main content of the web page to add color, style, images, and many other fancy features. While HTML may seem mysterious at first, the language itself is something that can be easily learned and understood by computer-literate children.
Tools of the Trade
Great, your eager students are ready to learn HTML. What do they need? A big fancy computer? Special software? Nope! Simple web pages can be created in any text editor program that comes already installed on your computer, like Windows Notepad or Mac’s TextEdit. This means that all you need is a personal computer, some basic computer skills and your imagination! You don’t need to set up a web server or install new software.
Writing the Code
So now you that have your text editor program open and you’re staring at a blank screen, what next? HTML code is just a series of “elements” that tell the browser how to display your web page. There are three elements usually included in your file. First, the “” element tells the browser that you are starting your HTML code, so the opening tag should be the first line in your file. At the very end of your file, you will “close” the element with the tag .
In between these “html” tags go