How to Write HTML Code

If you have never done any programming in your life, you are probably wondering where to even start. The very first step in learning any language, is to make sure you have to correct tools installed. To write HTML, we need to have a text editor installed.

What Editor Not to Use

When I say Text Editor, I don’t mean you can use just any tool that allows you to write text. Some tools are much better suited to working with HTML (and CSS and JavaScript), and some tools are just plain terrible for it. There are 2 tools that you should avoid:

Always avoid using Word Processors for writing any kind of code. These tools are built to create Rich Text Documents, which means they add a lot of hidden formating to the text your are writing. If you create an HTML file in one and try to open it with your browser, it will fail. There are technically work arounds you can do to make them not store the formatting data, but it isn’t worth the hassle, and you won’t get access to a lot of the modern day tools that made developing easier and more enjoyable.

You could technically create an entire web site using nothing but a Basic Text Editor like Notepad. I strongly recommend against it though for beginners especially. A modern text editor will have all the tools that make developing easier for new programmers.

What Editor to Use

So, what tool should you be using as a new developer? If I only had to give you one suggestion it would hands down be Visual Studio Code (or VSCode for short). VSCode provides convenience features like Code Highlighting and Completion. This means it is easier to read the HTML as you write it. It also provides suggestions on what you are trying to write. It also allows you to open a project folder and navigate all the files in it (very useful for websites larger than a single page)! Plus, it runs on every major operating system.

If you prefer to work with tools not written by Microsoft, a good alternative is Atom. It has a lot of the same features as VSCode and is comparable in most ways. Both are great tools, but I feel like VSCode runs better on my aging Macbook so I prefer to use it.

Next Lesson: How to Run HTML Code

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