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Learn HTML & CSS

A Comprehensive Guide to Start Learning HTML & CSS

HTML & CSS are the programming languages that tell a web browser how it should display the visual elements of a web page. While basic, they are some of the world's most commonly used programming languages. All modern web pages are built off of a base of HTML & CSS, so anyone looking to develop web applications will need to learn these languages. In this overview, you’ll learn more about what HTML & CSS is, what they can do, who uses them, and how to understand them to add this skill to your professional toolbox.

HTML & CSS is the programming language that allows modern web browsers to display web pages on a client’s device. It is an essential part of web infrastructure, and anyone hoping to work in web development will need to learn these programming languages. If you’ve always wanted to learn HTML & CSS but can’t figure out how to get started, this guide is for you. Here, you’ll learn more about the various ways to learn HTML & CSS, free resources to take advantage of, and the types of careers that commonly use HTML & CSS.

What is HTML & CSS?

HyperText Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are the two primary programming languages upon which all modern web infrastructure is built. These two programming languages tell your computer how to display a web page and distinguish one web element from another. HTML uses a system of tags and breaks to communicate to web browsers how a given web page should be displayed for users. It is what tells the web page you are looking at right now what the difference between a header and a paragraph is so that the web page knows when to separate the two blocks of text. CSS informs the web browser how it should display some aspects of content, assigning fonts, sizes, colors, and other visual data to web page elements. It tells the web page to display these words in a specific font, size, and color. Together, these two languages help build simple web pages composed of text, images, and hyperlinks.

Since their adoption in the mid-90s, HTML & CSS have become the most commonly used programming languages for web development, as virtually all web pages run on a skeleton built using these two languages. While the output of HTML & CSS is rather unimpressive by modern standards since it only deals with the production of visual elements, text, images, and links. However, modern web pages would be impossible to design for all their complexity without HTML & CSS. This means that anyone aspiring to work in web development must learn how to code in HTML & CSS before they can begin to learn more complex languages. 

Read more about what HTML & CSS is and why you should learn it.

What Can You Do with HTML & CSS?

Using HTML & CSS, you can design rudimentary web pages and begin the process of learning how to create dynamic and evocative web pages. While most modern web page design programs like WordPress allow novice users to construct more elaborate web pages than with HTML & CSS training alone, learning how to work with HTML & CSS prepares students for complex coding processes using programming languages such as JavaScript, React, or Python.

Learning HTML & CSS is also an essential first step in learning how to code web pages professionally. As more and more businesses, companies, organizations, and groups seek to establish an online presence, skilled Web Developers are in high demand. While any professional Web Developer will also need additional training, learning the fundamentals of front-end web development will ensure that students have the foundation to build into a profitable future career.

Careers that Use HTML & CSS

Since HTML & CSS are the backbones of modern web pages, any web development role that codes from front-end (client-facing) aspects of a web page will use HTML & CSS in some capacity. This includes anyone who designs web pages, elements of web pages or works to develop additional programming languages built off of HTML & CSS, like JavaScript. A few typical jobs that utilize HTML & CSS include:

Web Developers:Web Developers create and launch web pages for clients and firms. These developers will be given a web design document by a client or a team of designers. Then, they use coding languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to turn that design into a functioning web page. Developers will be either front-end or back-end developers, with Front End Developers working on a web page's user-facing side. These are the Web Developers who will most frequently use HTML & CSS. Web Developers may also be in charge of testing, debugging, maintaining, and updating web pages.

Visual Designers: Visual Designers will focus more on the kinds of projects they work on. While Web Developers will work closely with designers on a web page project, Visual Designers will work on individual digital elements, such as banners, buttons, menus, or art assets to be included in a web page. Visual Designers will be responsible for the creative side of the design of an asset. While not all Visual Designers will develop their digital assets, many will be responsible for designing a web page asset in a program like Adobe Illustrator and coding it with a language like HTML, CSS, or JavaScript.

Front-End Web Developers: Front End Web Developers overlap considerably with Web Developers regarding skills and responsibilities. For the most part, the difference is that Web Developers will specialize in the client side of web development and likely work on larger projects with teams of other developers. Sometimes, the two titles are used interchangeably in job descriptions, but Front End Web Developers will use many of the same skills as Web Developers. They will be more attentive to one side of the process and must have a greater proficiency with that side of web development.

Why Learn HTML & CSS?

If your goal is to build web pages, personally or professionally, you’ll need to learn how to use HTML & CSS. While almost all modern web pages use more complex programming languages, such as JavaScript or Python, HTML & CSS are the backbones of the modern website. These are the languages that tell a browser how to distinguish elements of a web page for display, meaning that these are the languages that make more internet browsing possible. Web Developers cannot construct the architecture onto which they build more complex digital elements for web pages without knowing how to use these two languages.

In addition, learning HTML & CSS is a great way to begin down the road of web development training. Today, almost no website strictly uses HTML & CSS, but by the same coin, no web pages function without HTML & CSS. This means that while anyone hoping to work in the field of web development will need more training, virtually all of that training will build off their HTML & CSS knowledge in some meaningful way. For example, when students want to learn how to build interactive elements for their web pages, they will probably want to learn JavaScript, which requires knowledge of HTML & CSS. No matter what a student wants to learn when it comes to building web pages, HTML & CSS will almost certainly be a required prerequisite.

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How to Learn HTML & CSS

Students who want to learn how to code with HTML & CSS have a few options for how they want to learn these languages. They can learn in person or online. They can learn through live instruction or asynchronously. Each course will have different affordances and limitations, so students should consider what option is best for them. Prospective students can compare their HTML & CSS classes using Noble’s Classes Near Me tool.

The most immersive and hands-on way to learn HTML & CSS is through live instruction, which is available both in-person and online. These classes offer students the chance to work directly with an experienced instructor who can guide them through learning HTML & CSS. This can be especially helpful for novice students who are learning HTML & CSS as their first programming language because the idea of coding can be intimidating for new students. In addition, the in-person classes will give students valuable networking opportunities, while the online courses will let students learn critical technical skills from anywhere in the country.

For students seeking more flexibility in their HTML & CSS training, on-demand HTML & CSS courses may be an ideal answer. These courses let students learn at their own pace since they aren’t tied to a specific live instructor’s classroom schedule. These are also the most varied training courses, allowing students to more freely customize their training to fit their learning style better. However, without a live instructor, students can quickly become lost, especially those without any computer science or coding background.

For students who are looking to understand the basics of HTML & CSS without committing to a professional training course, Noble offers free online seminars and tutorials to help ease students into programming. The Web Design and Development playlist on Noble’s official YouTube channel provides students with video instructions on how to get started with web development skills like HTML & CSS. Noble also provides a free Intro to Front End Web Development course on their free seminars page. Finally, students looking to learn more about the process of learning HTML & CSS can consult Noble’s Learn HTML & CSS page to look over the free articles and resources they have available to them.

Read the full guide on how to learn HTML & CSS.

Free Introductory HTML & CSS Course Online 

Looking for an overview of HTML & CSS without investing in a professional training course? Start learning HTML & CSS for free online. In these free introductory courses, you will learn the basics of tagging elements in HTML to allow web browsers to distinguish between elements of a web page and how to use CSS to alter the size, font, or color of text and other visual elements.

Noble Desktop offers a few online course options on its website and its official YouTube page. Users can visit their Web Design and Development playlist to find videos introducing students to the essential elements of front-end web development using HTML & CSS and associated programming languages. Noble also provides a free Intro to Front End Web Development course on their free seminars page. Similar to other free tutorials, this class will teach students both the basics of coding generally alongside introductory lessons on using HTML & CSS.

Numerous other free HTML & CSS training courses are available through service providers like Coursera and UDemy. Since HTML & CSS is so ingrained in web development, free resources for helping ease new programmers into coding are plentiful.

Read about more free HTML & CSS videos and online tutorials.

Level of Difficulty, Prerequisites, & Cost 

HTML & CSS are among the simplest coding languages to learn, but they are still coding languages, which means that users will need to learn complicated syntaxes and learn how to read and debug code that does not compile correctly. This can be difficult for novice coders, but it is a necessary first skill to learn for anyone aspiring to build web pages.

There are no formal prerequisites to learning HTML & CSS, as these languages are the prerequisite to learning almost everything else about front-end coding. Students should be comfortable using computers and expect the process of coding a web page. Still, beyond this, students won’t need prior knowledge to learn HTML & CSS.

HTML & CSS are open-source programming languages that are free to use. Novice coders will also need to acquire an HTML & CSS editing application to construct a web page. There are many different tools, such as Notepad++, Adobe Dreamweaver, UltraEdit, and Bluefish. The price of these programs will vary, but many are either completely free or have extended free versions. The actual process of launching and maintaining web pages will come with a regular service fee.

Read about how difficult it is to learn HTML & CSS.

How Does Learning HTML & CSS Compare to Other Applications/Languages/Fields?

Students who want to design their web pages from scratch will have no choice but to learn HTML & CSS. As the skeleton of modern front-end web development, these skills are necessary for aspiring Web Developers. However, the shift to Web 2.0 has brought many services built to make launching web pages more manageable and less time-consuming. WordPress, whose infrastructure undergirds approximately 40% of all web pages, has become a go-to tool for individuals who want to build their websites without needing to learn how to code.

While knowing HTML & CSS will significantly expand the scope of what one can do with a WordPress site, the platform's main selling point is its accessibility and ease of use. Since no one builds web pages using only HTML & CSS, using WordPress allows users to create complex, functional web pages without learning HTML & CSS, let alone more complicated languages like JavaScript or React. The flip side of this is that without knowledge of the coding languages that support these WordPress templates, users will be far more limited in the kinds of things that they can add to their web pages. They will almost find themselves wanting to add elements to their designs that they simply lack the tools to build.

Since the skills have complementary functionalities, learning HTML & CSS and WordPress is also an option for students. This pairing will help novice Web Developers ease themselves into more complicated designs and streamline their workflow as they can bring in WordPress assets without having to build them from scratch. Ultimately, the choice of what to learn will come down to how much additional training an aspiring developer seeks and how much of a stomach they have for coding.

To learn more about WordPress and the course options available through Noble for students with and without HTML & CSS knowledge, visit the WordPress page on Noble’s website.

How to Decide the Best Way to Learn HTML & CSS

Many different training options are available for students looking to learn HTML & CSS skills. Since so few web development projects in the Web 2.0 era rely solely on HTML & CSS, the question for students will be how confident they are in their desire to learn front-end web development and how much additional skills training they are hoping to acquire.

For students who are very new to coding and aren’t sure that web development is their career path, free online resources, such as Noble’s Intro to Front End Web Development course, give students an overview of what goes into developing a web page from scratch. This will provide students with a chance to gauge whether or not the process of web development is a path that they want to pursue.

Students that are confident they want to learn web development skills but aren’t ready to enter a career-focused training program may want to enroll in a skills bootcamp. Some popular options include Noble’s Web Development with HTML & CSS and Advanced HTML & CSS courses. These offerings give students the tools to begin a more intensive web development education. These courses will also introduce students to more advanced coding concepts, helping them to understand better what kind of web development training they want to pursue.

Students who know they want to advance to a new career in web development should consider a career-focused course like Noble’s Front End Web Development Certificate. Courses such as these will teach students how to code web pages with HTML & CSS and then build on that instruction to teach them more advanced web development skills, like adding interactive elements to an HTML & CSS web page using JavaScript. In addition, these courses provide students with essential professionalization training, such as career mentorship, job market seminars, and assistance in finalizing a development portfolio.

Learn HTML & CSS with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Students looking to learn HTML & CSS can find several specialized training courses through Noble Desktop. These courses, available both in-person at Noble’s Manhattan campus and through live online instruction, will provide students with in-depth training in HTML & CSS and many programming languages built off of HTML & CSS. Regardless of the course they enroll in, students will benefit from being able to work directly with Noble’s experienced instructors. Even online, class sizes remain small to ensure that students aren’t competing for their instructor’s attention. As a bonus, all of Noble’s courses have an option to retake the class for free within a year of enrolling, giving students extra opportunities to get hands-on HTML & CSS instruction and experience.

Noble offers an introduction to web development bootcamp through their Web Development with HTML & CSS and Advanced HTML & CSS courses. These courses are designed to give students a taste of front end web development by teaching them the essential practices of coding web pages using HTML & CSS. These courses are ideal for students with no coding experience who are interested in learning the fundamental processes of learning the syntax of a programming language and translating that knowledge into the construction of a practical project. Students will learn the basic principles of using HTML tags to differentiate between elements of a web page and how to use CSS tags to apply fonts and styles to text. In the more advanced courses, students will learn how to build multi-page websites that link to one another.

Most students with aspirations of learning web development aren’t going to be content learning how to design web pages that look like they were last updated in 1997. These students may wish to enroll in Noble’s Front End Web Development Certificate program. This course will teach students the vital HTML & CSS skills they need to know to build web pages. After mastering those skills, students will learn how to use programs and languages built on top of HTML & CSS to design more complex, interactive web pages. This course will teach students how to use JavaScript, one of the most popular front end programming languages, to add interactive elements and seamless animations to their web designs. Students will also receive training on how to utilize and build WordPress templates. Nearly 40% of all modern web pages use WordPress in some capacity, so learning these skills is an ideal way to start down the path of a career in web development.

Students interested in learning more about the HTML & CSS classes and bootcamps available should consult the web development section of Noble’s website (which they can easily view and navigate thanks to developers with HTML & CSS training).

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