Most Basic Page Ever

HTML - Hyper-Text Markup Language - defines sections and structure of a document by using (generally) paired tags denoted by "<>" signs. The tag that begins a region is just a pair of angle brackets; the closing tag of the pair includes a "/" such as "</h1>". You can look at the HTML of any page by viewing the source file. How to reveal the background document varies depending upon the browser you use.

There are many special symbols, as you may notice. These begin with "&" and end with a ";" --- you get used to them.

Contrary to popular perception, HTML is not meant to define the appearance of a page. That feature is handled by the "styling" of tags with formatting instructions. Styling can be done within a tag, in a section in the head of the HTML page, or in a separate file (called a "style sheet"). If more than one style rule is applied to an HTML tag (aka "element"), then the nearest one in the hierarchy of tag, page, stylesheet. Hence the "cascading" in cascading style sheets (or CSS, as it is known).

One trademark of HTML is the ability to link to other pages via hyperlinks. You may want to bookmark the W3C School Tutorial Page. The W3C is the standards consortium for HTML and related technologies.

Even people who know HTML often use WYSIWYG editors that do most of the routine section definitions and codes, tweaking it as needed and adding styling. I usually use Dreamweaver, although it has gotten expensive. You can use any text editing program that doesn't add special characters: TextWrangler, vi, emacs, TextEdit, etc.

See the Better Page and the Basic Style Sheet to start improving the look of your page.