HTML codes for websites are being used more and more by the "ordinary man in the street". Yes, you no long need to be a computer geek to use HTML!
While having the ability to write HTML codes for websites is still a highly specialised area, there are more and more people dipping their fingers into these previously unchartered territories - myself included!
So what is HTML? Very simply put, HTML is a language for describing webpages.
HTML is NOT a programming language but is what is called a "markup language" (hence HTML is short for Hypertext Markup Language) because it uses markup tags to code the webpages.
Your web browser reads the code and translates it into a web page. If you were formatting a normal document you would use a word processor such as "Microsoft Word". When designing a web page you would do this same task using HTML codes for websites.
I can just hear all the questions that are popping into your head. Having been in exactly the same place as you are now, I think I can anticipate what you would like to know.
If you're going to get someone professional to build your website then no, you don't need to know HTML.
However, if you intend building your own website, then I would definitely recommend that you get a basic understanding of HTML.
No. A word processor is an absolutely "no, no" when it comes to writing HTML codes for websites.
There are two reasons for this: the formatting created in a word processor is not recognized in a web page and there may be some hidden code imbedded in your word document which could adversely affect your webpage.
When writing HTML codes for websites you use a text editor.
A text editor is like a word processor. You would normally use software such as "Microsoft Word" to edit your documents quickly and easily. An html editor performs a similar role for web pages, like bolding text, inserting lists and images, etc.
You have two main options and that depends on how technical you are, how much time you have or your inclination to learn: a text-based editor or a WYSIWYG text editor ("What you see is what you get").
What I would probably recommend is a WYSIWYG text-editor if you are a beginner. This may be simpler in the long run. Remember, however, that like any other software package there is a learning curve.
If you really want to get into the nitty gritty of writing code, then I would recommend a text-based text editor. When I started out I was encouraged to use a text-based editor because it gives you more control.
Some WYSIWYG text editors do have bugs! If you're writing your own code, it may take longer but you'll have less surprises!
I chose a text based editor called e-TextEditor mainly for two reasons.
I have the opportunity of writing my code on the left-handside of the screen. The code is highlighted in blue (as opposed to the content) which makes it really easy if you looking for an error.
While I am typing code I can actually see what my web page will look like on the righthand side of the screen! This feature is really great as it is difficult proof reading your work with all the code and if you have to enter code that is incorrect more often than not you can pick it up as it'll look like gobbledy-gook!
No, I didn't. I pay a monthly subscription - very reasonable one at that - which gives me access (via the internet). This allows me to use it for as long as I want and as often as I want, without forking out a large sum of money and I've always got access to the latest version ie I don't have to worry about upgrades!