- 11th May 2017
- Posted by: Juan van Niekerk
- Category: Web Design
So there’s more than just one web language?
For those that are new to web design the easiest way to understand this relationship is to look at an analogy that will break it down into bite-size chunks. One way to look at front-end web development is to see these three languages interact with one another the same way a human body interacts with its surroundings.
The Website as a Human Body
HyperText Markup Language (HTML) can be broken down into HyperText, which is what grants access to other texts through links, and Markup which outlines the basic structure and appearance of raw text. What this means is that HTML describes and defines the content and basic structure of the website. It does this through a means of special tags or codes which tell the browser what to do. HTML is the bare basics of a website.
An HTML only website can be compared to a functioning human body. Note, I didn’t say fully-functional. An HTML only website has all of its body parts, although it doesn’t offer much to look at because it doesn’t have any accessories or personal style. At this stage, it’s also a body which is not capable of moving or speaking. A website which consists of only HTML would probably look a little like this:
This is where CSS comes in.
A Cascading Style Sheet is the website’s accessories. It’s responsible for outlining the colours, font and positioning of the content on a website. It adds some style and structure to the content. In order to make use of the CSS capabilities it needs to be linked within the HTML content so that style can be added to the website. CSS will tell the browser how to display the existing HTML.
CSS can be compared to adding personal style to the body. When you link CSS to HTML, it’s like dressing up the body. For example, you can choose a specific colour shirt and match it with a specific colour pair of trousers. On a website, you can choose the colour of the background or the font size of a heading and much more. It’s important to note that CSS cannot live without HTML as there would be nothing to style. Just like clothes or shoes would be pointless without someone to wear them.
So by now you should have an understanding of how structure and style are constructed on a website. A website that consists of HTML and CSS might looks like this:
It’s for Everyone
In some countries, access to the internet has become a basic human right. So if the internet is so vital to our survival, why is it that so few of us know how to manipulate the platforms it contains? The misconception is that web development is difficult or it’s only for people who work in IT. Wrong. ANYONE can learn to develop websites. Even children are learning, at school level, to understand and implement coding languages.
Also, web development came about in order to solve problems. Need to advertise your business online? Create a website. Need to create awareness on a specific topic? Create a website. However, every time a developer solves a problem for a client, he needs to research the problem in order to design accordingly. How time consuming! This also means an expert on the topic is not communicating directly with his audience. An IT expert is communicating on their behalf.
Imagine a world where experts on their subject are designing platforms to solve real problems. How much more effective will these platforms be if they are designed by the experts on a specific topic and not just an expert in IT. What I’m getting at is that learning web language is for everyone. So if you’re thinking about web development, there are three important languages you need to learn. Learning how to use these three web languages is how to start front-end web development and it’s important to understand how these three languages work together. So get out there, solve a problem and create a website!