Lesson Weekend

In the previous lesson we created our project's directory, and the first files our new site will require. Next, let's begin creating our actual website using something called HTML.

Writing HTML

If you look at the left side of the screen within Atom you'll see our file, index.html listed.


Double click on it, and we'll begin writing our first HTML code.

HTML is the basic building block of the internet. It represents the code which has been used to display every website you've ever visited. At it's core, it is a system used to mark different elements for your browser to display them in specific ways.

Read the following code and carefully type it into the index.html file.

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <title>Epicodus Workshop Project</title>
    <h1>My Programming Goals</h1>

Here we've used several different element types. As you can see, each element opens (example: <html>) and then closes (example: </html>). These are called tags. The / within the closing tag is what differentiates them.

  • <html> tells the browser that everything within it is HTML.
  • <head> the head defines information about the webpage that will not be displayed, but is important (more on this later).
  • <body> contains the information to be displayed to the user.
  • <h1> is a header tag. There are headers 1-6, and they correspond to different text sizes.

Now, lets make sure to save our file. We can do this by by hitting the alt + S keys on Epicodus keyboards, or by hitting File > Save in Atom. Then, we can open our webpage. In the Terminal (the same window you used commands like touch and mkdir earlier), enter the command open index.html.

Now we can see our page.


Expanding HTML

Let's add some more impressive elements to our HTML.

Let's start with another header. Follow along and match your HTML to the following code snippet. Note that we've limited the snippet to the <body> element for now. Note that each html document should only have one set of body tags - they should "wrap around" the rest of the html code that isn't inside the head.

    <h1>My Programming Goals</h1>
    <p>Every journey is easier if you <strong>know where you're going.</strong> <em>-unknown</em></p>
  • The <p> element is a paragraph. This is the basic text element used in HTML, and is used to display most basic text to the user.

Save the file, and refresh the page in your browser. Note that the <strong> and <em> tags within the paragraph element have made some changes to how the text appears. Can you figure out what they do?


Let's use a new element to display an image on our page.

    <h1>My Programming Goals</h1>
    <p>Every journey is easier if you <strong>know where you're going.</strong> <em>-unknown</em></p>

    <img src="https://tinyurl.com/lfkubwe" />


Here we've added an element called an <img>. It's job is to show us an image. Note that there is no </img> present, instead the / is located at the end of the element itself. This is called a self-closing element.

This element has additional information included, beyond what we've seen before. It has an attribute called src. This attribute defines the source of the image. In this case we're using a URL, to show an image from the internet. You can replace this URL with another image if you'd prefer, or a path from the HTML file to an image stored on your own computer.

If you save the file, and refresh the page in your browser again, you should see an image has been added to your webpage.


An HTML list

Let's create a list of our goals below the image we're displaying. Add the following code below the <img> element.

<h3>My Goals:</h3>
  I want to become a professional web developer. Here are the things I'll need to learn first.
  <li>Learn HTML</li>
  <li>Learn CSS</li>
  • <ul> is an element that indicates we wish to display an un-ordered list. By default this means we'll display bullet points.
  • <li> is a list item. When displayed within a list, they will be grouped together.

When we reload, we see our list neatly displayed under the image.



Let's add one more element to our page. No website would be complete without links. They're important for linking pages together, and providing references to outside sites.

Let's add the following code to the index.html file.

<h3>My favorite website</h3>
<h4><a href="http://www.google.com">Google</a></h4>

Here we've used another set of header elements and a new element called an anchor. The anchor is defined with the <a> element. Notice that the anchor has an attribute just like an image. The href attribute is the hypertext reference. It declares where the anchor leads. Our site should now look like this:


Now that we've finished with this section, our HTML looks pretty good. We have an image, a list, and a hyperlink. Let's start making it look good with some CSS.