Just before we start diving into learning HTML and using it to build websites and webpages, we will like to explain the history and what HTML really stands for.

History of HTML

HTML traces its history back several tyears ago since early 1990s. HTML is reported to be invented in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee as a publishing language while he was working at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics in Geneva, Switzerland. By 1990 Tim had so many other resources and tools to support his invention. There was the Hypertext, which was used in computers; the domain name system which since mid 1980s was a way to name computer systems; and SGML, Standard Generalized Markup Language, was already in place been used as the international standard for marking up text into structural units like paragraphs, headings, lists and more.

By 1991 there was already open discussion on HTML across the globe just as the internet was ripe for it. 1994 HTML specification for HTML2 was released and Netscape was formed afterwards and later WWWC or W3C, World Wide Web Consortium was formed. 1995 Microsoft’s internet explorer web browser was launched. And it went on till today when HTML5 is already taking the floor.

What is HTML?

HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language and it is not a programming language parse but  instead a markup language which is made of several markup tags and elements that together are used to publish web content on the web through the web browser.

We need a web browser to be able to see HTML files and this is very important as we need to make sure we follow HTML rules and standards to be able to view our webpages the way we intend them to be depending on whatever web browser is been used to view the files.


HTML majorly consists of markup tags thus called HTML tags. These tags are what web browsers use to render our webpages. There are so many HTML tags around and they are the ones we see surrounded by angle brackets as in <html> and mostly appear in pairs as in <html> </html> where <html> is the known to be the opening tag beginning the tag and </html> is known as the closing tag that ends the tag.

HTML Elements

HTML elements is everything from the opening tag to the closing tag including the content between the tags. Take for example <p> This is a paragraph </p> is the paragraph element with the starting tag <p>, the content “This is a paragraph an the closing tag </p>. We also have elements like <hr /> and <br /> which don’t have no content or closing tags. We will go into more details with this later in the tutorial.

HTML Files

HTML files are what are been read by the web browser to output what we see as webpages and websites. They are usually known with the extension .html or .htm as used in other cases. The web browser communicates with these HTML files and interpret the HTML language to web pages showing the content of the HTML files.