I had to acknowledge the other day, in answer to a question from a

colleague who has started blogging,  that yes, it’s probably a

good idea to get some knowledge of basic HTML (HyperText Markup Language).

Now I’m all in favour of us non-techie business owners not having to

learn a lot of technical stuff in order to operate on the internet. At

the same time, I believe that you give yourself more freedom to move by

acquiring a certain amount of technical information/skill. HTML is in

that category.

Certainly if you want to have real control over how your blog or other

website looks and you either want to make changes at odd hours or don’t

want to ring up your web expert for every little change (and then have

to pay for it), getting your head around some basic HTML is a good move.

Now I know that some people get a bit spooked by the idea of

learning even a little HTML. I was certainly daunted at first: the

breakthrough for me was to understand that HTML is essentially a system of tags within a logical framework to make your

text and pictures look the way you want on the web. Funny thing is, I

was also one of those people who once used WordPerfect and happily

whacked in our tags for bold, italic etc., but didn’t immediately get

the connection when first looking at a page of HTML code.

There is another group of people, of whom I am now one, who have a basic

knowledge of HTML but value having a ready reference to the tags for

specific formatting requirements.

Fortunately for both groups, there is a very accessible online resource W3 Schools,

which has a very readable, plain English introduction to HTML, a

tutorial on using HTML, a list of basic HTML tags, explanations and

illustrations of frames, tables and other design elements, information

on advanced HTML and so on.

You can use the site free of charge to your heart’s content and the

more it gets used the better because it’s a sponsored site and the

sponsor funds are needed to keep it live.

The main W3 Schools page I keep bookmarked for quick access is the HTML 4.01 Reference page.

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