Introduction to HTML and CSS

HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language, and in simple terms it is the language of the internet. It is used to describe the structure of a web page dividing the page into areas such as titles, paragraphs and lists so that our computer's web browser can interpret and display the web page as desired. HTML is a very simple language to learn and use, and even a complete beginner can build up a high level of knowledge in a very short space of time.

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. Whereas HTML describes the structure of a web page, CSS describes the layout and styling everything from specifying page fonts to describing where to position menu bars and content areas. CSS is a relative newcomer in the world of web development and as a result many people have an irrational fear of it, believing it to be difficult to understand and implement. In fact this couldn't be further from the truth; CSS is just as easy and quick to learn as HTML and it is so powerful it really is worth taking the time to study.

The key thing to remember is that HTML describes the structure and content of a web page, and all the styling and layout is left to the CSS.

In the past it was common to style web pages using HTML rather than CSS, but this is a bad habit and its functionality has in fact been removed from the latest HTML standard, XHTML 1.0. Although you can still use these presentational HTML tags, you should avoid doing so. All of the content of this website is fully XHTML 1.0 compliant, ensuring maximum compatibility with the latest browsers, as well as backwards compatibility with older ones.