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Essential HTML and CSS topics that professional web designers should master

By Editorial Team on 2018-11-20

Without a doubt, HTML and CSS are most popular coding languages that are mainly used by web designer and marketing professionals. Indeed, learning HTML and CSS helps you create a simple profile page for showcasing your resume and professional portfolio or hobbies. This article reviews main topics to learn for doing HTML and CSS coding.

Why Learn Coding
Building an application using common programming languages such as HTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL and JavaScript is an essential 21st-century skill. Virtually every industry, from design to journalism to marketing, now requires professionals to work closely with technical teams. By learning HTML and CSS you will have enough skills to make edits and updates to your application (like websites or mobile Apps) and communicate more effectively with technical stakeholders, giving you a competitive advantage. 

HTML and CSS Overview
Learning HTML and Cascading Style Sheets or CSS are easy and they are recommended to all professionals with or without technical background. Unlike software engineering programming languages like Java or C++, HTML and CSS are made of simple tags that are easily to learn and use. Once you learn HTML and CSS, you can use them in 3 areas: 1- Designing websites, 2- Building mobile Apps, and 3- Creating and managing newsletter and email marketing.

HTML and CSS Programmer Tasks
HTML and CSS coding are parts of frontend web programming. The major tasks related to HTML and CSS coding for performing normal web design jobs are:

  • Creating simple pages
  • Marking up and formatting text
  • Adding links and images
  • Design elements- color, background, and page layout
  • Basics of graphics

HTML and CSS Programming Topics
The following is more detailed outline for 10 HTML and CSS coding topics that you need to learn to start your coding journey.

1. Where Do I Start?
Learn about roles, duties, and position of a web designer, developer, and marketer. Also, learn how to design website mock-up or wireframes. It is good to know the differences between drag-and-drop and coding techniques for building a website.

2. Creating a Simple Page
At this stage, you need to learn how to create a web page. A web page can be created by following steps:
Step 0: Launch a Text Editor
Step 1: Start with Content
Step 2: Give the Document Structure
Step 3: Identify Text Elements
Step 4: Add an Image
Step 5: Change the Look with a Style Sheet

3. Marking up Text
At this stage, you need to learn how to add Paragraphs, Headings, Lists, and more content elements like Div tags to your web page. It helps you to organize your page contents.

4. Adding Links
At this stage, you need to learn how to add hyperlinks or the href Attribute to your pages and link your site pages together.

5. Adding Images
At this stage, you need to learn how to add and manage your site image contents.

6. Basic Table Markup
At this stage, you need to learn how to add and manage your site tables and table contents.

7. Forms
At this stage, you need to learn how to add HTML forms to your site. Then you need to do coding (in languages like JavaScript, Ruby on Rails or PHP) to process a form once it is submitted by site users.

8. Cascading Style Sheets Orientation
At this stage, you need to learn how to add and manage your CSS codes like changing page structures, page element layout, coloring, etc.

9. Formatting Text
At this stage, you need to learn about the Font Properties, Lists Bullets and Numbers, changing text color, capitalization, size, shadow, etc.

10. Colors and Backgrounds
At this stage, you need to learn about specifying color values, foreground color, background color, and playing with opacity.

Summary and Additional Notes
Now that you have learned the main topics related to HTML and CSS coding, you need to plan for your next training possibly in one of the following six areas: 1- Become a digital marketing specialist by learning advance newsletter marketing with HTML and CSS, 2- Become frontend or User Interface specialist like web design freelancer by learning advance topics like HTML5 and CSS3, 3- Become a Content Management System by learning WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, 4- Become a  back-end developer by learning Linux, PHP, and MySQL, and Apache, 5- Become a FullStack developer by learning JavaScript frameworks like Angular, React, jQuery and even Node and Express, 6- Become a mobile App developer by learning jQuey Mobile, React Native or Ionic along with HTML5.

It is advisable to consult with an IT career counselor to understand what career options best fits your skills. For instance, if you want to be a software engineer, learning HTML and CSS might not fit the bill. Here is an excellent article for learning more on coding and technology career roadmap. Once you know what career path you wish to pursue, you can make a plan on what, when, and how to learn. There are lots of online resources for learning coding and technology in general. For teenagers and high school students, High School Technology Services offers variety of hands-on training. For adults and professionals, Coding Bootcamps and DC Web Makers Companies offer basic to advance project-based programming and technology classes.

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