I’ll start off this article by stating for the record that in Internet years I’m a great grandfather. Yes, I may seem only 31 years young but were I to be digitized and placed on the net I would have grey hair and walk with a cane. That’s right I started building websites back in 1995 designing for the most advanced browser of the time, NCSA Mosaic, while still making sure everything looked good for all the people using the popular linx, text-only browser.
Back in 1995 I learned HTML for the first time and since then I’ve kept my chops up as I’ve found this to be an absolutely invaluable skill to have. While I have developers that work for me now writing the code, it’s good to know that I can look at any of my sites and understand exactly what is going on. It also feels good to know that if I want to tweak code at any point in time, I can.
I get a lot of emails from people asking me how they can learn how to build websites. First let me say that learning HTML and building a website aren’t exactly the same thing. Yes, you do need HTML to build a website, but you need a lot more than that. Still HTML is the foundation and knowing it can help you, like Neo in the Matrix, see what’s really going on.
When I first learned HTML there were only a handful of books out about it and a few simple websites. Now there are literally tens of thousands of books, websites, articles, and video tutorials. The problem here is that it can be hard to know which resources are the best to learn from and in many cases when people are overwhelmed with choices, they pick none. Another problem with books and online tutorials is they can easily get outdated. That is why I felt it was important to write this article about learning HTML in 2012, since you can easily spent hours accidentally learning from a tutorial written ten year ago!
So to make life easier I thought I would recommend three great resources that can help you learn HTML this week. It shouldn’t take months to learn HTML and with any of the tutorials below you should be able to write Hyper Text Markup Language like it’s going out of style by the time the week is over.
1.W3C HTML Tutorial – a completely free HTML tutorial by the creators of the language itself. This is broken down into weekly lessons but honestly you can do all of this in a week without breaking a sweat. Once you’re finished you will also find that this site serves as a great reference as well.
2. Lynda.com XHTML and HTML Essential Training – I can still remember when Lynda was first starting out. She was one of the first people to do kick ass video tutorials about learning web development. Now Bill Weinman has a great video tutorial on his site teaching you all the basics of XHTML and HTML. If you like learning from videos this is one of the best video tutorials out there for learning HTML.
3. HTML & CSS For Beginners On Udemy – I’m a big fan of Udemy, they have some great courses and the prices are generally more than reasonable. Mark Lassoff has a great video course that covers both HTML and CSS and it requires no prior experience with either.